FUKUI, Japan, April 17 (UPI) -- Japan said liquefied natural gas shipments from Russia may be considered a national interest, Russian energy company Gazprom said.
Japanese Director of the Agency of Natural Resources Hisayoshi Ando met with Gazprom Deputy Chairman Vitaly Markelov in Fukui, Japan.
Japan relies on liquefied natural gas imports to meet its natural gas needs. Natural gas consumption in Japan increased in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.
"The parties considered the information submitted by Gazprom regarding the investment rationale completed for the Vladivostok-LNG project," Gazprom said in a statement. "The meeting stressed the paramount importance of this project for deeper Russian-Japanese cooperation in the energy sector and addressed further project priorities."
Gazprom said the project would have the capacity to produce 15 million tons of LNG per year. Phase 1 of the project, slated for 5 million tons of LNG per year, is expected to go online in 2018.
Gazprom in 2007 adopted a program to get more natural gas to Chinese and other Asian markets. In mid-March, Gazprom said it was interested in working with Chinese companies on the Vladivostok project.