Russia's energy ministry said on Monday that Japan's Mitsubishi Corp has expressed interest in participation in the Arctic LNG 2 project, which is due to start producing liquefied natural gas in the next decade.
Novatek owns a 90 percent stake in the project, with France's Total holding the other 10 percent. Novatek intends to keep a 60 percent stake in Arctic LNG 2, offering 30 percent to other investors.
Energy ministry officials have met representatives from Mitsubishi, the ministry said without elaborating.
Last month two sources said that Mitsui, Saudi Aramco and the Russian Direct Investment Fund were in talks with Novatek over taking stakes in the project, which should bring the Russian gas company closer to its goal of producing as much LNG as Qatar, one of the world's top suppliers.
With a production capacity of approx. 19.8 million tons per year (Mt/year), or 535,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), Arctic LNG 2 will unlock more than 7 billion boe of hydrocarbons’ resources in the onshore Utrenneye gas and condensate field. The project will involve the installation of three gravity-based structures in the Gulf of Ob on which will be installed the three liquefaction trains of 6.6 Mt/year capacity each.
In the same way as for Yamal LNG, Arctic LNG 2 production will be delivered to international markets by a fleet of ice-class LNG carriers that will be able to use the Northern Sea Route for cargoes destined for Asia.
The final investment decision is expected in 2019, with plans to start up the first train by end 2023.