Russia Aims for Massive Increase in LNG Deliveries to Asia: Energy Minister

Russia plans to capture about 20% of the global market by 2035, which would call for a fivefold increase in its liquefied natural gas (LNG) output, energy minister Alexander Novak told the Nikkei Asian Review.

According to him, Russia envisions up to 70% of its LNG exports by then going to the Asia-Pacific region. Speaking to the news outlet in Moscow, Novak said that Russia’s government intends to strengthen its cooperation with Japan in terms of funding and technology for the LNG and related sectors.

Russia’s current LNG output is about 28 million tons a year. This combines output from the Sakhalin-2 project, in which Japanese general traders Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. participate, and the Yamal LNG project in Arctic Russia.

The plan is to raise the total, which now represents less than 10% of global demand, to between 120 million tons and 140 tons by 2035, according to Novak.

Qatar and Australia each accounted for over 20% of the global LNG market in 2018. Russia’s goal is to rival these producers as well as the United States in LNG output.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected to discuss economic cooperation in areas including energy when they meet in Osaka on June 29 on the sidelines of the G-20 summit. The leaders will also discuss a long-awaited peace treaty and other matters between the countries.

Novak said the Asia-Pacific region is home to some of the world’s biggest LNG markets, and that Russia expects to boost exports to Japan, China, India, South Korea and Vietnam.