Rosneft and ExxonMobil have begun preliminary work on a joint LNG plant to be built in the Far East by 2018 by selecting a contractor to complete the design and engineering work. In 2013 and 2014 the companies intend to select liquefaction technology, define basic equipment requirements, complete civil-engineering surveys, and prepare legal documentation.
Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said the first completed section of the plant would have capacity of 5 million tons per year and be functional by 2018 at the latest. Rosneft’s gas fields contain approximately 600 Bcm of gas, he said.
Constructing the plant is part of a growing relationship between Rosneft and ExxonMobil, which in April divulged plans to construct a second joint LNG plant in Alaska. There is only one operational LNG factory in Russia, owned by a Gazprom-headed international consortium that produces 10 million tons of liquefied gas a year.
The Far East plant has been viewed as Rosneft’s challenge to Gazprom’s dominance in the emerging sector. A 2006 law designated Gazprom the exclusive exporter of Russian gas, but Rosneft and independent gas producer Novatek are lobbying to gain the right as well.