The Gazprom Export headquarters hosted a working meeting of Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Director General of Gazprom Export with a parliamentary delegation representing the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, with Seiji Maehara, Member of the House of Representatives, Chairman of the Party's Policy Affairs Research Council at the lead.
The meeting addressed the current cooperation of Gazprom and Japanese companies as well as potential areas of the joint activities. The parties touched upon the successful partnership of Gazprom, Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corporation under the Sakhalin II project including additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies made after the disastrous tsunami and earthquake that had occurred in Japan in March 2011. Besides, they pointed out the successful interaction related to Japanese pipes deliveries for the Sakhalin – Khabarovsk – Vladivostok and Nord Stream gas pipelines.
The meeting participants addressed the prospects for exporting more natural gas from Russia to Japan in view of the LNG plant expansion in Sakhalin and the LNG project construction in Vladivostok.
In addition, the parties considered possible examination of a project for the pipeline gas deliveries from Russia to Japan.
“Our activities hinge on the principle that the projects we deliver jointly with foreign partners should be mutually beneficial,” noted Alexander Medvedev.
With its scarce domestic energy resources, Japan is the world's fourth largest energy consumer. Nearly 80 billion cubic meters of natural gas are annually consumed in the country. The share of natural gas in the Japanese energy mix stands at 14 per cent. Almost 100 per cent of the consumed gas is imported in the form of LNG, making Japan the world's top LNG importer.
Japan is a major consumer of the Sakhalin LNG (Sakhalin II project) – some 65 per cent of the project output has been contracted out by four largest Japanese companies engaged into power generation as well as five Japanese gas companies under long-term (above 20 years) contracts. The Sakhalin gas accounts for about 8 per cent in Japan's LNG consumption mix.
In January 2011 Gazprom and the Japanese State Agency for Natural Resources and Energy signed the Agreement of Cooperation envisaging preparation of a joint feasibility study on the options for natural gas use near Vladivostok as well as for natural gas and gas chemicals transmission from the Vladivostok region and their sales among potential customers in Asia-Pacific.
In April 2011 in furtherance of the above mentioned document Gazprom and Japanese consortium JAPAN FAR EAST GAS Co., Ltd. signed the Agreement on the joint feasibility study development for an LNG plant near Vladivostok. The study results were submitted as a presentation to the Gazprom senior management and to the Japanese Agency for Natural Resources and Energy on February 20, 2012.
In March 2012 the Gazprom Management Committee adopted a decision to elaborate in the first quarter of 2013 the Investment Rationale for the LNG plant construction near Vladivostok.