25 Mar 2024 20:52

Gazprom replaces Novatek as buyer of 27.5% stake in Sakhalin Energy

MOSCOW. March 25 (Interfax) - Gazprom , which is the main participant in the Sakhalin 2 PSA project, will be the buyer of Shell's unclaimed stake in the PSA project, thereby replacing Novatek , which the Russian government had determined a year ago to be the original buyer of the stake.

The government has confirmed and approved Sakhalin Project LLC as the new buyer of the 27.5% stake in Sakhalin Energy LLC, the operator of the Sakhalin 2 project. The relative government order No. 701-r, dated March 23, has been published on the official internet portal of legal information.

The government had previously approved Novatek Moscow Region LLC, a Novatek subsidiary, as the buyer for the stake nearly a year ago in April 2023, since when the deal had not moved forward, thus the corresponding order from April 2023 is also considered invalid.

The selling price for the asset remains 94.8 billion rubles.

As reported, Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2022 signed the decree "On applying special economic measures in the fuel and energy complex in connection with the unfriendly actions of certain foreign states and international organizations". According to the decree, a Russian LLC replaced UK Bermuda-based Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd as the operator of the Sakhalin 2 project being implemented under the terms and conditions of a production sharing agreement. The new operator, Sakhalin Energy LLC, was registered in August and began operations.

According to the decree, Gazprom Sakhalin Holding LLC was assigned a stake of 50.00000001% upon the establishment of the company of the Gazprom group. The foreign co-owners in the project were required to confirm their respective participation in the new legal entity, with Japan's Mitsui & Co., Ltd (12.5%) and Mitsubishi Corporation (10%) confirming that they would remain in the project, while Shell (SPB: RDS.A) informed the Russian authorities that it would not be a co-owner with the new Russian operator.

The government determined the terms and conditions for the purchase of Shell's stake, composing them so that only Novatek could participate in the purchase at the time. The price of the asset was set at 94.8 billion rubles, and Novatek submitted an application for the purchase. The Russian government on April 12 approved the sale of the Sakhalin Energy LLC operator's 27.5% stake in the Sakhalin 2 PSA project to Novatek.

The Piltun-Astokhskoye and Lunskoye fields on the Sakhalin sea shelf are under development as part of Sakhalin 2. The LNG project plant in Prigorodnoye, south of Sakhalin, began operations in February 2009, reaching its full design capacity of 9.6 million tonnes of LNG per year in 2010, with the work optimization program then boosting its productivity 20% to 11.5 million tonnes of LNG per year. The company produced around 11.5 million tonnes of LNG and about 3.7 million tonnes of Sakhalin Blend oil in 2022.

Registered in St. Petersburg in July 2023, Sakhalin Project LLC is owned solely by its founder, Sakhalin Holding LLC, which is part of the Gazprom group.