Novatek’s Yamal LNG Venture Opens Trading Unit in Singapore

The OAO Novatek-led Yamal LNG venture set up a trading unit in Singapore as it markets liquefied natural gas from the planned $20 billion project in Russia’s Arctic region.

Yamal Trade Pte was established yesterday, Novatek said in a regulatory filing today.

Novatek and partner Total SA plan to produce as much as 16.5 million tons a year of the super-chilled fuel at the Yamal LNG project on the Yamal Peninsula above the Arctic circle. Novatek, controlled by billionaires Leonid Mikhelson and Gennady Timchenko, is seeking permission from Russian President Vladimir Putin to export LNG directly, outside the legal export monopoly held by bigger rival OAO Gazprom.

Novatek is seeking to contract Yamal shipments in the first half of the year and is looking for customers both in Europe and Asia, Mikhelson, who is also Novatek chief executive officer, said in October. It’s holding talks with potential customers and preparing a final investment decision on the project, in which it has an 80 percent stake. The venture, 20 percent held by France’s Total, may add another partner, Mikhelson said.

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