Asia eyes Russian Arctic gas as Australian costs climb
Novatek, which holds 80 percent of the Yamal liquefied natural gas †(LNG) development licence but has no rights yet to export future production, is offering for sale a 29 percent holding to help fund development.
State-backed number-one Gazprom's monopoly on Russian gas †exports is seen as a major barrier to that sale, and to the project's future. However, access to major resources is increasingly limited worldwide, and Moscow has just launched a review of whether to liberalise gas †exports.
In addition, according to Novatek's chief financial officer Mark Gyetvay, the rising costs of Australian projects being pursued by Royal Dutch/Shell, Chevron and others are increasing the attraction of Yamal.
"From our experience with the Australian side we are seeing more interest from Asia-Pacific buyers to look at our project where a year ago their primary focus would have been closer to home," he told a conference in London this week.
"We are talking to companies now in the Asia-Pacific region largely because they see that there's a huge amount of risk from all these Australian projects that either may not come onstream, or they can get a better deal by coming into a more cost-effective, conventional onshore type development."
Australia has nearly $190 billion of liquefied natural gas export projects under construction that would add more than 80 million tonnes per annum
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