Speaking at an industry forum in St Petersburg, Van der Veer said a joint venture would be formed between the companies.

Initially, it is expected to concentrate on looking at the possibility of building a liquefied natural gas plant on the Yamal peninsula, which hosts several large untapped gas fields.

However, the memorandum does not specify exact dates and conditions for the creation of the joint venture, Veer added.

Gas to the mooted LNG plant may initially be supplied from the South Tambeyskoye field, with estimated recoverable gas reserves of 1.3