Russian authorities have drafted a liquefied natural gas strategy that could see local independent Novatek facing increased competition from other companies.

Novatek, the country's largest gas independent, currently enjoys generous tax concessions and state-wide backing.


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However, the draft proposals could see Rosneft becoming a major competitor in LNG exports if the oil producer can commission its Taymyr LNG and Kara LNG projects in the Russian Arctic.

The blueprint drafted by Russian authorities envisages a steady increase in Russian LNG production to 2035 as Rosneft and private investor A-Property realise plans to commercialise gas reserves in remote locations in the Arctic region, East Siberia and the country's far east.

The document was presented to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak at the end of January, according to Moscow-based business news agency RBK.

Rosneft's Taymyr LNG scheme is part of the company's expensive move into remote onshore assets in East Siberia, known as the Vostok Oil project.

Yet-to-be confirmed gas reserves in these assets may underpin Taymyr LNG's capacity of 35 million to 50 million tonnes per annum, according to the proposals.

In the Russian Arctic, authorities expect Rosneft will have no option other than to build an LNG plant to export gas from its three large East Prinovozemelsky offshore blocks in the Kara Sea.

With Rosneft assessing recoverable reserves of more than 1.3 trillion cubic metres at its two recent Kara Sea gas discoveries in December, the three blocks together could potentially support a separate 30 million tpa LNG plant.

ExxonMobil tie-up

In Russia's far east, Rosneft and its partner, US supermajor ExxonMobil, are pushing ahead with plans to build a single-train 6.2 million tpa capacity LNG plant near the De-Kastri oil export terminal in the Khabarovsk region.

The plant will take gas from the ExxonMobil-led Sakhalin 1 development on nearby Sakhalin Island and is expected to become operational by 2027.

Authorities anticipate additional trains may be added to the De-Kastri plant to boost its capacity to 15 million tpa.

The blueprint also includes a proposal for the privately backed construction of an LNG plant, Yakutsk LNG, on Russia's Pacific coast.

Yakutsk LNG, with a potential capacity of 15 million tpa, is being pushed forward by Moscow-based investor A-Property.

A-Property recently bankrolled the acquisition of licences for three large blocks in East Siberia as potential resource bases for the plant, which will require a 1300-kilometre pipeline to link the assets with the proposed facility.

A spokesperson for A-Property told Upstream that the company is not yet ready to share a more detailed view on how the proposal can be realised, given the challenging East Siberian environment and restrictions on private ownership of gas trunklines.