KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, May 25 (UPI) -- Malaysian energy company Petronas said it was not the target of a sale of its assets or any of its stakes to counterparts in the Russian energy sector.
The Malaysian company referred to Russian reports suggesting it may dispose of some of its interests.
"We wish to clarify that Petronas has not been and is currently not in discussions with any Russian party for the abovementioned purpose," the company said in a statement.
Last week, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said markets in the Asia-Pacific may see an increase in exports of natural resources from Russia. He said talks between Russian energy company Zarubezhneft and Petronas were part of that effort.
"Zarubezhneft shows interest in studying the assets of Petronas," he was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying Friday. "The parties are holding consultations about it."
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports Malaysia has about 83 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves and is No. 3 in the world in terms of exports of liquefied natural gas behind Qatar and Indonesia.
Last week, the board of directors at Russian energy company Gazprom met in Moscow to review long-term objectives in the natural gas market. While Europe is one of its main customers, the company said it aims to increase its gas export options for Asia.
The Russian company added that LNG, which is exposed to less geopolitical risk than cross-border pipelines, can offer more market options. The company said that over the past few years, it's more than doubled its LNG portfolio. An agreement on strategic cooperation reached last year with Royal Dutch Shell extended to the LNG sector via possible extensions to an existing LNG plant in Sakhalin in the Far East.
Novak last week said LNG exports to Asia-Pacific could grow "from 7 to 9 times."