Novatek CEO Says EDF Among Potential Partners for Yamal LNG

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- OAO Novatek is talking with companies including Electricite de France SA about participating in the Yamal LNG venture should Russia’s second-largest gas producer decide to add a partner.

“If there are good partners with good markets, we are ready to consider them, but 80 percent for Novatek in this project is also very good,” Novatek Chief Executive Officer Leonid Mikhelson said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland yesterday.

Novatek is developing a $20 billion project to liquefy natural gas on the Yamal Peninsula in northern Russia together with Total SA, which holds a 20 percent stake. The Yamal LNG venture is planned to start in 2016 and deliver gas to both European and Asian clients Tarko Sale, Russia-based Novatek expect to sign the first contracts with customers in the first half of this year.

“We consider the project highly profitable,” Mikhelson said.

EDF is in talks with Novatek about Yamal LNG, EDF CEO Henri Proglio told reporters in southern Russia on Dec. 7, without elaborating. EDF’s press service didn’t immediately respond to a request for comments today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lyubov Pronina in Davos, Switzerland at lpronina@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net