№ 6 (June 2010)
Putin Gives Total CEO Approval on Yamal LNG Project
Total is looking to win a major stake in the Yamal liquefied natural gas project, chief executive Christophe de Margerie said Friday, according to the Moscow Times.
The daily reports that de Margerie said the French oil and gas giant seeks a 20 to 25 percent stake in developing the Yamal field.
The news comes as de Margerie met Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Paris June 11 to propose Qatar join the LNG project which also includes building and LNG plant and loading facilities in the Arctic.
By Staff writers, wires
After a meeting Putin in Paris last week, de Margerie said that he had told the prime minister that the Qatar government wants to partner with Novatek in the Yamal LNG project, Reuters.com reports. "Putin is totally in favour of it", de Margerie said, "He said on commercial terms it is up to Novatek but as a company, as a partner I support you".
Putin, who has boosted Russia's economic ties with Germany and Italy, has been increasingly focusing attention on France in recent years, the AP reports. Following on the heels of Putins' visit to Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy will travel to St. Petersburg this week to speak at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, an aide to Medvedev said on Tuesday.
Arkady Dvorkovich said the Russian and French leaders would participate in the plenary session of the forum and later attend a roundtable to discuss joint innovation and investment projects.
"We expect that the French president will announce who will coordinate the participation of French companies in the Skolkovo project," Dvorkovich said, adding that after that the presidents will hold a bilateral meeting.
The Skolkovo research hub, dubbed Russia's Silicon Valley, is being built from scratch 20 km outside of Moscow. Research at the center will focus on five priority spheres: energy, information technologies, communication, biomedical research and nuclear technologies.
Total's interest in Yamal is not coincidental. At virtually the same time de Margerie was promoting the results of his meeting with Putin, Bloomberg reported that his colleague, Laurent Chevalier, Total's president of gas and power ventures in China, said Europe may boost purchases of LNG as it seeks to reduce dependence on supplies of the fuel piped from Russia and Algeria.
“Europe is making massive investments in LNG terminals,” Chevalier said at a conference, “There’s an enormous effort to ensure security of supply, and at the same time Europeans are also enablers for Russian pipelines.”
Some analysts believe Russia's willingness to work with the French is related to its desire to obtain the military technology used in French Mistral warships. While Total sought a larger stake in Yamal, Russian decision-makers were pressing the French on Friday for access to its warship technology, Mercury News reported.