Total Gets Russian Nod for Yamal
Total SA has received the go-ahead from the Russian government for participating in the exploration of the world's biggest deposit of natural gas in Yamal peninsula in the Arctic.
Located in the north of Siberia, the peninsula is home to around 40 trillion cubic metres of gas, which exceeds the stocks of any country.
The project, to be carried out at South Tambei gas and gas condensate field, envisages construction of an LNG plant and a seaport in Sabetta village besides building of a fleet of tankers of the ice-class.
While the deal of the project Yamal-SPG (the Russian acronym for LNG) is yet to be formally over, the French entity that currently owns about 12% of the project’s equity, intends to hike its stake to 20.5% by installments in the coming two to three years.
NOVATEK, Russia’s largest independent natural gas producer, which is implementing the project, is working with Total, however, several other foreign majors like French GDF Suez, Shell, Exxon, ConocoPhillips, Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Repsol and Qatar Petroleum, may participate in the project at a later date, owning up to 49% of the equity.
Prime-Minister Vladimir Putin who has pegged the total cost at exceeding $300 billion, said the government is mulling to finance creation of the infrastructure of the new port, expecting the first shipment of LNG to begin in 2018.
The 3.2 thousand nautical miles North Sea route is the shortest connection between Northern Europe and Asian and the Pacific Rim countries compared to the standard Rotterdam-Yokohama route via the Indian Ocean, which is around 11.2 thousand nautical miles.
However, the biggest challenge in Yamal meaning “end of the world” is the harsh Arctic climate with the field in this boggy Polar territory lying three thousand kms away from the nearest potential market, Poland. Drilling and other works need to be completed till the light lasts in a short winter day.
Source: RIA Novosti