Novatek has petitioned Russian President Vladimir Putin for new concessions in order to ensure economic returns from the local independent's two planned liquefied natural gas transshipment terminals in the country.

The company has high ambitions of being amongst the largest players in the global LNG market, with a number of huge developments in Russia, including Yamal LNG and Arctic LNG 2.

During a virtual meeting on Thursday, Novatek chairman Leonid Mikhelson asked Putin to introduce amendments to Russian legislation to exclude its two planned terminals from being required to charge fees in Russian roubles.

Novatek and its international partners are looking to raise financing for these projects in foreign currencies, with Mikhelson arguing that denominated in US dollars are important for the projects to be economically robust.

The rouble has significantly fluctuated against major international currencies in recent years, as it is traditionally affected by energy prices and international sanctions against the country.

Mikhelson also petitioned Putin to amend regulations to permit direct ship-to-ship transfers at Yamal LNG and its other planned LNG projects.

Such ship-to-ship transfers of LNG and other hydrocarbons are banned in Russian waters, unless they are carried out in specially determined locations with additional mooring equipment while supervised by state representatives.

Under a plan to support its large LNG projects on the Yamal and Gydan Peninsulas in West Siberia, Novatek is looking to build and operate two onshore LNG storage and transshipment terminals in ice-free waters near the Barents port of Murmansk and near the Kamchatka Peninsula in the country's far east.

The goal of the terminals is to reduce the number of expensive LNG carriers, capable of moving independently in Arctic ice with thickness of about two metres, that Novatek has to order for its next LNG projects.

Novatek is hopeful the Kamchatka terminal — with an annual transshipment capacity of 20 million tonnes —could become a major LNG spot trading hub for Asia Pacific markets.

Mikhelson told Putin that he would also like authorities to approve reduced electricity and transportation tariffs for Novatek and its LNG projects in return for securing investments into creating transportation infrastructure in remote areas in the Russian Arctic.

The government is already providing major state investments to the Kamchatka terminal, aimed at transforming an abandoned naval base in the Bechevinskaya Bay on the Kamchatka Peninsula into a port suitable for handling large LNG carriers.

According to a televised report of the meeting, Putin told Mikhelson that the state may “respond positively to requests”, although warning that Novatek must discuss the necessity of each concession with the relevant authorities.