Russia Hopes to Dominate Global Gas Market

Russia made a stride nearer to turning into the world's biggest exporter of shipped gas with a $27bn venture in the Arctic Circle.

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) venture, situated by Russia's remote Obe River in the far north, started production on Tuesday and will send out its first cargo of super-cooled liquid gas before the week is over.

The Yamal LNG venture drives Novatek, its chief developer, from a local Russian gas provider to a noteworthy player in the growing worldwide market for LNG with potential exports of 16.5 million metric tons of gas each year.

By utilizing uniquely manufactured ice-breaking tankers to explore the Arctic waters Novatek hopes to split the time required to send gas to China in half, which has driven worldwide gas interest for previous twenty years.

Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and Chevron are additionally vying for a cut of the LNG market which is grabbing steam as nations move away from consuming coal for power needs.

Leonid Mikhelson, Novatek's chairman, said the landmark achievement starts a new chapter in the company's corporate history.

In any case, Yamal LNG is similarly viewed as a key step in Vladimir Putin's approach to develop Russia's impact in worldwide energy markets in the midst of decaying relations with the west.

“Russia, without any doubt, not only can, but will become the largest producer of liquefied natural gas in the world,” he conveyed to Yamal LNG managers recently.

During summer president Putin indeed attested Russia's strength, guaranteeing that the state's gas is less expensive to produce and transport than US shale. He added that he is available to "healthy competition" with the US for the European market.

Europe sources 33% of its gas from Russia, however the Kremlin is looking east to grow ties with China where demand and interest for gas is expected to soar.

Novatek, a privately owned business, drew intensely on financing from the Russian state and also Chinese funds to meet its development plan regardless of substantial assents against the nation.

The company holds a 50pc stake with Chinese energy company CNPC and France's Total which both hold 20pc of the venture. The last 10pc is controlled by the Chinese-sponsored Silk Road Fund.

Mr. Mikhelson specified, “Many contractors and suppliers from Russia and abroad were involved in this project. We have received great support from the Russian government in implementing this project.”

Samuel Lussac, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said the start-up of the project on time and within budget in spite of the testing operating conditions is surprising in the LNG business, where the ventures frequently encounter critical cost overruns or delays.

In any case, the venture will need to demonstrate that it can perform in the unforgiving Arctic conditions, he included.

He additionally said, “Even though an important milestone has been achieved, there are still risks associated with Yamal LNG performance and logistics. Also, the Northern Sea Route transportation is in its early stages of development, and its feasibility as a major LNG delivery route is unclear.”