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Yamal LNG Output, Shipping May Cost $36 Billion, Putin Says

The Russian government and companies behind a project to liquefy and ship natural gas from the Yamal Peninsula in the Arctic may need to invest at least 1 trillion rubles ($36 billion), Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

The OAO Novatek-led Yamal LNG project will also involve building a port with first loadings of liquefied natural gas due to start in 2018, Putin said at a meeting outside Moscow today.

“Yamal will get a modern LNG plant, transport infrastructure,” Putin said. “A new Arctic port, Sabetta, is planned.”

Yamal LNG plans to produce 5 million metric tons of fuel a year for export in 2016, before ramping up to an expected 15 million tons in 2018. Novatek, Russia’s second-biggest gas producer, is working on a specially designed fleet to take the fuel from the Arctic to Europe and Asia all year-round.

Total SA agreed in March to take a stake in the project, as Novatek may decide on other partners by the end of the year.

The deal for the French producer to acquire a 20.5 percent stake in Yamal LNG has been approved, Andrey Tsarikovsky, deputy head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, told reporters separately today.

Investments in Yamal LNG may reach $15 billion to $20 billion, excluding spending on the tanker fleet required to ship the fuel from the icebound waters via the Arctic route, Novatek Chief Executive Officer Leonid Mikhelson said last month.

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