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    Gazprom Neft Joins LNG Bunkering Society


The traditionally oil-focused company wants to build up its gas operations. (Picture credit: Gazprom Neft.)

by: Joseph Murphy

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Gazprom Neft Joins LNG Bunkering Society

Gazprom Neft announced on July 30 that it had become the first Russian oil company to join the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF).

The company, which serves as the oil production arm of state-owned Gazprom, wants to build up its gas operations. It estimates that gas will account for 45% of its total output by 2026, on the back of the launch of new projects in the Russian Arctic. As part of the strategy, it plans to bring its first LNG bunkering vessel into service in 2021, complementing its existing oil-based bunkering business.

SGMF, established in 2013, brings together more than 140 bunkering providers, LNG producers, shipping firms, LNG infrastructure operators and other companies.

LNG is seen as an attractive solution for shipowners looking to comply with stricter International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules on the sulphur content of fuels, brought into force this year, as it produces virtually zero sulphur emissions.

"Its energy value and economic viability make LNG even more attractive in comparison with traditional oil products," Gazprom Neft said. "Working with the international community will allow us to join forces in developing LNG-project infrastructure in Russia and abroad, finetuning standards and regulations, and developing industry best practice in LNG production, logistics and bunkering."

Gazprom Neft wants to offer deck-to-deck LNG bunkering at most Baltic ports. It plans to build additional LNG bunkering vessels over the next decade.