Russia opens Sakhalin energy conference

Sept. 25, 2012 at 6:44 AM

MOSCOW, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The Kremlin announced that more than 400 participants arrived in the Far East to examine the oil and natural gas potential in the region.

Sakhalin Island plays host to this year's regional oil and natural gas conference. Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti described the region as the fourth-largest in terms of oil and natural gas reserves. More than 100 million barrels of oil and 800 million cubic feet of natural gas are produced in the region each year.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said last week the government was considering a special tax regime for economic partners in the Far East and Siberia.

More than 85 percent of deliveries of liquefied natural gas from Gazprom were to Asia-Pacific countries in 2011. The company said it aims to invest more than $14 billion on developments in the Sakhalin region north of Japan.

Japan imports all of its natural gas demands as LNG. Gazprom has focused more intently on Asian economies as European partners take steps to break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector.

The conference runs through Thursday.

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