Russia`s second-largest natural gas producer and global liquefied natural gas runner-up Novatek on November 22 announced the completion of the third line of its Yamal LNG project one year ahead of schedule and reaching the full capacity of 16.5mn tonnes annually.
Adopting and successfully implementing ambitious Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) strategy that started with Yamal in 2013 has pushed Novatek to recently becoming one of top five of Russia`s most valuable companies.
With the help of French energy major Total and a consortium of other international energy majors Novatek launched its first major LNG project Yamal in 2017 despite Western sanctions against its shareholder stoligarch Gennady Timchenko. In January-September 2018 Yamal already produced 5mn tonnes of LNG on short- and long-term deals and 0.47mn tonnes of gas condensate.
By the end of the year Novatek plans to secure shareholders for the next LNG project Arctic-2. Recent reports suggested that Saudi Aramco could become its second- largest shareholder after the Russian company. Total also said it will acquire a 10% stake in Arctiv-2 and recently upped its stake in Novatek overall to 19.4%.
Novatek plans to boost LNG output to 56mn tonnes by 2030 from about 20mn tonnes planned for Yamal and Arctic-2 by 2023. according to the CEO of Total Patrick Pouyanné. This would make more that half of planned quadrupling of Russian LNG output to 83mn tonnes. as recently estimated by the Ministry of Energy.