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Alexander Medvedev links the new hopes of Gazprom with the Vladivostok-LNG project

Gazprom's new hopes related to the Vladivostok LNG project were discussed during the XVIII International Conference and Exhibition Sakhalin Oil and Gas-2014, which took place from 22 to 25 September in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. The event brought together about 600 participants from over 20 countries. This record number by representation in the entire history of the industry event is direct evidence of the growing interest in the hydrocarbon resources of the Sakhalin shelf, replenished from year to year, RIA PrimaMedia reports.

The first key session of the conference, which took place from 22 to 25 September in the capital of the island territory, was devoted to the role of Sakhalin and the Far East in the global energy system. She demonstrated the current state of the operating offshore projects Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2, as well as the prospects that have opened up as a result of geological exploration. According to the speakers, they are large-scale and unique. These findings are particularly relevant to data on natural gas reserves and resources.

The Governor of the Sakhalin Region Alexander Khoroshavin, welcoming the audience, noted that offshore projects today account for more than 80% of the total volume of oil and gas production in the region. Thanks to them, the region took the third place in Russia in oil production and the ninth - in gas production. The resource base of Sakhalin has become a source of gasification of the Far Eastern regions - the Sakhalin Oblast, the Khabarovsk and Primorsky Territories. Thanks to the first draft of the production sharing agreement (PSA), Sakhalin-2, Russia entered the liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters club. The project has produced over 50 million tons of LNG in five years.

By the way, this year Sakhalin-2 turns 20, and in the same year Russia received payments on profit tax from this project for the first time. Only the budget of the Sakhalin region received about 60 billion rubles from this amount, which is more than 50% of all budget revenues of the island territory.

The speakers spoke about the prospects for the production and export of Sakhalin gas. In particular, Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, assessing the prospects for the global gas market and the company's role in increasing the resource base of Sakhalin and implementing gas liquefaction projects, noted that Gazprom, the largest shareholder of the Sakhalin-2 project, as well as the owner of a number of licenses for oil and gas fields on the Sakhalin shelf, high expectations are associated with the Asia-Pacific market. The locomotive of growth will be China, whose GDP grew by 2013% in 7,7, and the ASEAN countries, where GDP grew by 5%.

Rapid economic growth is not the only reason for the growth in future gas demand. Many countries are trying to optimize the structure of the fuel balance, to solve environmental problems. It is recognized that the most efficient energy is possible when combined with gas, Medvedev said.

It should be noted that the term integration has become one of the key in relation to the two leading Russian oil and gas companies - Gazprom and Rosneft. The market is watching the ongoing confrontation between these giants, which have recently become competitors in the global gas market. The representative of Gazprom, the head of the department for coordination of eastern projects, Viktor Timoshilov, said how important it is at the new stage to coordinate actions in planning Russian LNG projects. This warning concerns Rosneft's declared intention to build Far Eastern LNG on Sakhalin in addition to Gazprom's Vladivostok LNG projects and the third stage of the Prigorodnoye LNG plant (Sakhalin-2 project).

“The appearance in the region of such a number of additional gas liquefaction capacities should not be chaotic; we propose to jointly think about optimizing these projects by using the advantages that each of the parties has,” Timoshilov said in his report. - To avoid unnecessary cost overruns, all the more fully compensated by the Russian budget, Gazprom offered the operator of the Sakhalin-1 project to sell future gas on market conditions. This would make it possible to make the most of the already created infrastructure for liquefied natural gas on Sakhalin and obtain more competitive products for market launch than building another LNG plant from scratch. There is a possibility of a synergistic effect from concerted actions of the participants in two PSA projects through a gas purchase and sale scheme.

Experts, recognizing the growing popularity of LNG, talked about the risks of future projects. However, no one will build plants for the future, so it is unlikely that supply will exceed demand. Only at the beginning of the next decade there will be changes in this market.

Alexander Medvedev noted in this connection that investors still have a few years to close the gap between demand and supply.

- Our new hopes are associated with the Vladivostok LNG project, - he stressed, - an investment decision has been made on the project, the first stage will be ready by the end of 2018.

The fears of the sanctions that Russian oil and gas companies are experiencing were not ignored. Alexander Medvedev said that Gazprom chose the American gas liquefaction technology for the project to build an LNG plant in Vladivostok, but this does not exclude its replacement in the event of a possible impact of sanctions on the project.

- The technology was chosen originally of American origin, we will see what happens next. Technology is not the only one, he added.

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