LONDON, April 25 (UPI) -- The Russian government can advance the economy by liberalizing the market for liquefied natural gas for Asian markets, an executive at Rosneft said.
Rosneft and Japanese company Marubeni Corp. signed a memorandum of cooperation last week on the implementation of an LNG project in Russia's Far East. The measure includes the possibility for joint exploration and development in oil and natural gas fields held by Rosneft.
Rosneft said it expected to make first LNG deliveries to Asian markets by 2018. Chief Financial Officer Svyatoslav Slavinsky told Bloomberg News from London that such exports would stimulate the economy once Gazprom's monopoly over LNG ends.
"We can't speak for the government, but we certainly expect they are going to be listening to various players including us," he said. "We hope that the regime will change."
Gazprom operates Russia's only LNG plant at Sakhalin Island on the country's east coast. Gazprom officials met last week with Japanese officials to discuss the Vladivostok LNG project planned for Russia's eastern shores.
"Rosneft will be interested in the markets where it can create value, so far we can see this value creation particularly in Asia," Slavinsky said.