Qatar is in negotiations to take a stake in an Arctic liquefied natural gas (LNG) project under development by number-two Russian gas producer Novatek , Qatar’s energy minister said on Sunday.
The Yamal project will develop the South Tambey field located in the Arctic area of the Yamal peninsula.
“Qatar is very much interested in investment generally in oil, gas and petrochemicals. Yamal is an important project and we are really interested in participating in its development,” the minister, Mohammed al-Sada, told reporters on the sidelines of an event on Sunday.
“We are in active discussions and negotiations with our partners,” Sada said.
Resources from the condensate and gas field are expected to produce 5 million tons of LNG per year when production starts in 2016 and reach 15 million tons per year in 2018.
Russia’s top non-state gas producer Novatek last week said it sold 20 percent of the Yamal LNG project to French major Total for $425 million.
Two or three more foreign partners could join Total as investors in Yamal, Novatek’s chief executive said in October.
Shell, Statoil, Qatar Petroleum and ONGC are all considered potential partners in the project.
“The opportunity of Qatar joining to Yamal has been discussed. Our country is committed to developing long-term gas production and will be a major actor in the LNG market in five to six years,” Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko told a news conference in Qatar on Sunday.
Novatek has been experimenting with the northern sea route, using icebreakers to clear a path for tankers to the growing markets of Asia.