Russian LNG Exports Boom in January-February
Russian LNG export revenues more than doubled in the first two months of 2019 in annual terms, the Federal Customs Service (FCS) of Russia announced April 8.
Revenue from overseas sales increased by 115.4% to $1.438bn during January -February. The boom came as the volumes of the frozen gas shipped abroad also expanded rapidly, rising by 81% to 9.1bn m3, the FCS reported.
Russia exported 36.7bn m3 LNG across the whole of 2018, representing a rise of around 50% compared with 2017. Revenues grew 66.6% year on year to $5.286bn.
By way of comparison, Russian pipeline exports grew 3.7% in 2018 to total 220.6bn m3. Turnover expanded by 27% to $49.148bn. Volumes dipped 2.7% in January-February to 38.5bn m3, but revenue increased 14.9% to $9.173bn.
The majority of the exports growth stemmed from Yamal LNG. Novatek launched production at the third train of the far-eastern project in November, after putting the first train into operation in late 2017 and adding the second in July.
The total nameplate capacity of the three trains is 16.5mn mt/yr, which is valued at around $27bn. Novatek holds 50.1% of Yamal LNG, with French Total (20%), Chinese CNPC (20%), and the Silk Road Fund (9.9%) also holding interests.
Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson said April 9 that the project is currently producing 17.5mn mt/yr, or 6-7% more than its design capacity. That is set to reach 18.5mn mt/yr after the launch of a fourth train with 1mn mt/yr output by 2020.
Novatek also plans to start construction of the Arctic 2 project in mid-2019, which is planned to produce 19.8mn mt/yr LNG. Overall, the company hopes to hit 57mn mt/yr in LNG output by 2030, although has also suggested that target could rise to 70mn mt/yr in the coming years.