25 Sep 2018 19:10

Total raises stake Novatek stake to 19.4% limit

MOSCOW. Sept 25 (Interfax) - France's Total increased its stake in Novatek to 19.4% last week, the limit agreed on with the Russian gas producer's shareholders back in 2011, Total chief Patrick Pouyanne said in New York at a presentation of his strategic vision of the oil and gas industry to 2030.

Total spent $6.8 billion for the stake, which is now worth $9.6 billion. Pouyanne acknowledged that there was a risk for investment in Russia, but nonetheless said Total had succeeded nearly 10 years ago in identifying one of the fastest growing players on the market.

Pouyanne said Novatek's ambition was to increase its share of LNG production to 56 million tonnes per year by 2030.

Total signed an agreement in June giving it the option to receive stakes not just in Arctic LNG 2 but in all of Novatek's future projects.

Total bought a 12% stake in Novatek in 2011 from its principal shareholders, Leonid Mikhelson and Gennady Timchenko, and agreed to increase its stake to 19.4%. In addition, Total became a shareholder and the technological flagship for Novatek's first LNG project, Yamal LNG, which was launched at the end of 2017.