The Gazprom headquarters hosted a working meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Chikahito Harada, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Russian Federation.
The parties discussed the current status and the prospects for cooperation between Gazprom Group and relevant Japanese companies.
The meeting paid special attention to the joint Russian-Japanese projects being implemented in the Far East. In particular, Alexey Miller and Chikahito Harada discussed the progress with the project of an LNG plant construction near Vladivostok and emphasized the successful cooperation between Gazprom and Japanese energy companies within the Sakhalin II project.
In addition, the meeting participants confirmed the paramount importance of Russian LNG supplies to Japan.
Following the talks, Alexey Miller and Chikahito Harada expressed their shared opinion that the policy of strengthening cooperation in the oil and gas sector would further be pursued.
Japan is in the fourth largest energy consumer in the world. The share of natural gas in the Japanese energy mix is currently at 14 per cent and is expected to grow. Japan imports 96 per cent of consumed natural gas in the form of LNG and is the world's largest LNG importer. In the fiscal year of 2011 the country consumed 83.18 million tons of LNG.
In 2011 according to the agreements signed with the Japanese Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) and Japanese consortium JAPAN FAR EAST GAS Co. (comprised of ITOCHU, JAPEX, MARUBENI, INPEX, CIECO), Gazprom and the Japanese partners performed the joint feasibility study on the LNG plant construction near Vladivostok.
On June 24, 2012 the Russian Federation Energy Ministry and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry signed the Memorandum of Understanding confirming the intent of the countries' governments to provide the necessary assistance to the Vladivostok-LNG project.
On September 8, 2012 Gazprom and ANRE signed the Memorandum on the Vladivostok-LNG project. The document stipulates boosting the comprehensive cooperation in order to promote the project including its financing and gas marketing aspects.
Japan is a major consumer of the Sakhalin LNG (Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corporation are the shareholders of Sakhalin Energy ) – some 65 per cent of the output has been contracted out by four largest Japanese companies engaged into power generation as well as five Japanese gas companies under long-term contracts (more than 20 years). The share of the Sakhalin gas in the Japanese LNG consumption is about 8 per cent.