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Russia's Gazprom pivoting to Asia

June 28, 2013 at 8:02 AM

MOSCOW, June 28 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom said it was setting up a special-purpose company to oversee development of an LNG facility in the Far East.

Gazprom Chairman Alexei Miller said the company, Gazprom LNG Vladivostok, was set up to oversee operations for a liquefied natural gas facility in the eastern Russian coast.

The Vladivostok facility will have a production capacity of 15 million tons of LNG when it comes on stream in 2018.

Gazprom said Thursday plans were under way to commission a natural gas field associated with the facility. Four exploration wells were planned in the region through 2014 and plans are under way to perform a survey of the potential for more gas reserves.

"Work is in progress on the preparation of a resource base for the Vladivostok-LNG project," the company said. "Pro-active efforts are being made to market the gas of the Vladivostok-LNG project and talks are under way with potential customers in Asia-Pacific."

Gazprom considers Far East natural gas developments as a strategic link for Asian markets. Japan in particular is looking for new sources of energy following the 2011 meltdown of its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Japan relies completely on LNG for its natural gas needs. Russian natural gas makes up about 8 percent of Japan's annual needs.

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