8 Oct 2009 11:08

Gazprom, foreign cos discuss Russian LNG, S. American projects

MOSCOW. Oct 8 (Interfax) - The chiefs of Gazprom and Petronas discussed potential cooperation in the Yamal LNG project at the World Gas Congress in Buenos Aires this week, Gazprom's press office said.

They also discussed possible cooperation in the Eastern Gas Program, including gas chemicals projects.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller also met with top executives from GDF Suez to discuss increased cooperation in Russian gas supplies to France and the possibility of GDF becoming a shareholder in the Nord Stream pipeline project.

Gazprom and Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) reiterated their interest in further strengthening strategic partnership - Russia's VNIIGAZ institute is drafting a general plan to develop Bolivia's gas sector on schedule.

Gazprom also discussed possible joint projects with Peru's Perupetro.

Gazprom's Miller told reporters in Buenos Aires that the Russian gas giant was not shelving the Baltic LNG project to build a liquefied gas plant in Primorsk, Leningrad region.

"This is still in the program, this just hasn't been updated yet," Miller said.

Miller said in a speech to the congress that Gazprom aimed to be producing 80 million-90 million tonnes of LNG by 2020.

He said five LNG projects - Sakhalin-2, Shtokman, Yamal, Far East and Baltic - might combine to produce that sort of amount.

Gazprom recently started to build the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas pipeline, after which its "Asian peers started to talk in more detail."

Miller said Repsol has expressed a desire to join the Yamal LNG project and that another meeting would be held in December to possibly map out "specific steps in cooperation in the project's framework."

Miller also said progress was made at talks with Bolivian officials regarding a joint venture with Bolivia and France's Total. "We had meaningful discussion about the principles and terms and the timeframe for forming the JV," he said.

Miller also said Argentina was a promising gas market, given the rise of gas-fired power generation.

Also, the Russian company "has something to offer" to the Argentina-Bolivia gas project.

Nord Stream AG, the project operator for the gas pipeline which will connect Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea, is currently owned by Gazprom (51%), BASF/Wintershall and E.ON Ruhrgas (20% each) and Nederlandse Gasunie (9%).

Matthias Warnig, managing director of Nord Stream AG, said in Buenos Aires that the cost of building the 1,220-km pipeline from Russia to the German coast was unchanged at EUR 7.4 billion, despite the drop in gas prices.

The pipeline's first strand should be commissioned in 2011 and will be capable of supply 27.5 billion cubic meters of gas to Germany per year. Capacity is to be increased to 55 billion cubic meters per year after a second strand of the pipeline has been built by 2012.