Gazprom and Rosneft shed light on Russian LNG export ambitions
Gazprom has confirmed to Russian authorities that the annual capacity of its long-planned Vladivostok LNG project is expected to be less than a sixth of its originally planned target.
The declaration came as the state-controlled gas monopoly and the country's largest oil producer, Rosneft, updated authorities on their liquefied natural gas ambitions as the Russian government met this week to consider long-term LNG targets.
Russia is a significant player in the LNG market, although many of the huge projects online or under way are operated by the country's largest gas independent, Novatek.
Gazprom reaffirmed to authorities that the capacity of Vladivostok LNG in the country's far east is not expected to exceed 1.5 million tonnes per annum as compared with a previously declared 10 million tpa.
The plant will receive feed gas from Gazprom-led developments at the Kirinsky block offshore Sakhalin Island via the existing Sakhalin–Khabarovsk–Vladivostok pipeline, which the company is currently upgrading.
The project appears to be aiming for high-value LNG spot sales, such as ship bunkering and small-scale LNG deliveries, to target locations with limited or no access to pipeline gas.
It follows the commercial success of a similar small-scale plant in the Baltic port of Vysotsk, operated by a joint venture between Novatek and Gazprombank.
According to Gazprom, another LNG facility is being planned near a Russian Black Sea port.
The Chernomorsky LNG facility it will be fed with gas from the existing trunkline network and may produce between 500,000 and 1.5 million tpa of LNG.
Gazprom has excessive trunkline throughput capacity in southern Russia following massive upgrades to infrastructure in recent years in preparation for gas exports to Europe via the South Stream subsea pipeline.
South Stream was later cancelled and eventually replaced by the lower capacity TurkStream pipeline to Turkey.
Both Vladivostok LNG and the Chernomorsky LNG may be built by as early as 2025, according to Gazprom, although some industry analysts believe this is an overly optimistic assessment.
Gazprom is already a controlling shareholder in the Sakhalin 2 LNG project that last year produced about 11.5 million tonnes of LNG, about 19% above its nameplate capacity.
Rosneft, meanwhile, told the government it may add 10 million tpa of LNG capacity to its plan to build a single-train LNG plant near an operated oil export terminal at De-Kastri in the Khabarovsk region of Russia's far east.
Known as Far Eastern LNG, the plant will have capacity of 6.2 million tpa. Anticipated to come online in 2027, the facility will be fed by gas from the ExxonMobil-led Sakhalin 1 oil and gas developments offshore Sakhalin Island, where Rosneft has a 20% interest.
According to Rosneft, the new trains in De-Kastri are unlikely to become operational before 2035.
Rosneft told authorities that estimated recoverable gas reserves at its Veninsky block offshore Sakhalin have more than doubled to about 580 billion cubic metres, making it a candidate to provide gas to support the expansion of Far Eastern LNG.