Novatek has teamed up with Germany's Siemens Energy as the Russian gas giant sets about slashing its carbon footprint, with hydrogen projects on the horizon.

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The pair have signed a "strategic partnership and co-operation" agreement as Novatek, which operates huge liquefied natural gas projects in northern Russia, aims to boost what it calls its "environmental efficiency".

The first joint project is aimed at replacing natural gas burned by Novatek at its gas and LNG production sites in West Siberia with hydrogen.

Novatek is a major shareholder in Yamal LNG, the country’s largest LNG-producing project on the Yamal Peninsula.

It is also a leader in another of the country’s major LNG developments, Arctic LNG 2, located on neighbouring Gydan Peninsula.

Last year, the company said that its wholly owned gas and condensate-producing subsidiaries in West Siberia and joint ventures burned about 2 billion cubic metres of gas to produce electricity and support operations at LNG-producing facilities.

Novatek previously said it had tested solutions to produce hydrogen, adding that it would seek partnerships with European companies to create joint ventures for this purpose.

According to industry observers in Moscow, West Siberia and the Arctic region have significant potential for wind farm developments, with Novatek chairman Leonid Mikhelson also seeing regional opportunities in carbon capture and storage.

Although Novatek has had a long history of contracting Siemens at its greenfield gas projects in Russia, Thursday's announced pact is the first agreement with Siemens Energy, an independent company that was created this April following the restructuring of Siemens Group.