French “Total” announces new investment in Russian LNG sector

PARIS, France’s energy giant Total announced on Thursday that it had taken a 10 percent stake in the Arctic Liquefied natural gas (LNG) project operated by Russia’s Novatek company in which it already holds a 19 percent stake.

The value of the investment was not disclosed but Total has reserved the option to increase its stake in the LNG project should the parent company Novatek cede its existing 60 percent shareholding.

The deal was signed in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian leader Vladimir Putin who were meeting Thursday in Saint Petersburg.

Total said in a statement issued in Paris that the Arctic LNG project “fits (its) strategic partnership with Novatek” and the French company’s commitment to developing the vast gas reserves in the far north of Russia.

The Arctic LNG project has production capacity of 19.8 million tons per year of gas, or the equivalent of 535,000 barrels of oil per day (boe/d), Total indicated, noting also that reserves on the site were above 7.0 (mboe) from gas and condensate.

Project work will continue until 2019 when more investment decisions will be taken and the first LNG train should start up in 2023.

Total has been working in Russia for 25 years and is involved in a number of gas production projects.

The deal comes as Macron and Putin have been exploring ways to boost economic and trade relations.

Source: Kuwait News Agency