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January 10, 2014 09:22

Putin urges synchronization of private, state investment in LNG infrastructure

NOVO-OGARYOVO. Jan 10 (Interfax) - President Vladimir Putin called Thursday for synchronizing private and state investment in infrastructure for production of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

"It is necessary to synchronize the investments of private companies and state investments in infrastructure for such LNG production facilities," Putin said during a meeting with Energy Minister Alexander Novak. "Definitely keep an eye on this," the president instructed the minister.

Novak assured the president that this will be one of the ministry's chief objectives in 2014, and that such control will be ensured in both the oil and gas sectors.

Putin also asked the minister about the anticipated impact of decisions related to the liberalization of the LNG market.

Novak said he believes this was "one of the key decisions of 2013, which was worked out taking into account an analysis of the world gas market."

"We believe that this decision will provide an incentive to increase investment in processing and give us the opportunity to win additional niches in the Asia-Pacific region," Novak said.

He recalled that the share of LNG on the world gas market has grown from 18% to 32% in recent years. "We are shipping about 11 million tonnes from the Sakhalin-2 project and by 2018-2020 we can reach 30 million-35 million tonnes. We believe that the share of LNG consumption will grow at accelerated rates," Novak said.

At the end of 2013, Russia passed amendments to the law governing gas exports that expanded the number of companies allowed to export LNG.

Two new categories of companies other than Gazprom have been granted the right to export LNG as of the beginning of 2014. The first category applies to companies that hold licenses to fields that, as of January 1, 2013, called for building a plant to produce LNG or shipping produced gas to an LNG plant. The second category to receive export rights consists of state companies in which Russia holds an interest of more than 50% that are developing offshore fields.

Therefore, in addition to Gazprom and its subsidiaries, LNG export rights will be extended to Rosneft (MOEX: ROSN), and the Yamal LNG project of Novatek (MOEX: NVTK).

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