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Monday, April 28, 2008

Russia to supply 8 mln tons of LNG to Japan in 2009

MOSCOW, April 25 (RIA Novosti) - From 2009, Russia will supply eight million metric tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually to Japan through the Sakhalin II oil and gas project, a Kremlin source said on Friday. Contracts with Japan's eight largest electricity and gas companies have been signed under the project in Russia's Far East, controlled by Russian energy giant Gazprom. The supplies to Japan will account for 8.5% of the country's LNG imports. "Supplies to Japan will be launched no later than early 2009," the spokesman said ahead of a Saturday meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and president-elect Dmitry Medvedev, who chairs Gazprom. Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of Gazprom's management committee, announced on Wednesday that the first gas deliveries as part of Sakhalin II were expected in early 2009. He said Gazprom planned to invest $45 billion in LNG projects by 2030 to become a major player on the LNG market. The company is seeking to supply about 90 million metric tons of LNG annually to world markets by 2030. The Sakhalin-II project has estimated reserves of 150 million metric tons (1.1 billion barrels) of oil and 500 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Gazprom holds a 50% stake plus one share, British-Dutch Royal Dutch/Shell 27.5%, and Japan's Mitsui and Mitsubishi control 12.5% and 10%, respectively.

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