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Russia's Novatek set to hike LNG capacity to 70 million mt/year by 2030

Amsterdam — Russia's Novatek expects to increase its LNG production capacity target to 70 million mt/year by 2030, up from a previous target of 57 million mt/year, company CFO Mark Gyetvay said Monday.

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Speaking at the Flame conference in Amsterdam, Gyetvay said the company continued to build its resource base in northern Russia on the Yamal and neighboring Gydan peninsulas, pointing to a giant discovery late last year at the North Obskiy gas prospect with an estimated resource of 900 Bcm.

That is in addition to the existing 3.3 Tcm resource base Novatek has across its license areas.

"Our objective over the next year is to come up with a revision to 70 million mt/year by 2030," Gyetvay said.

Previously, Novatek had said it aimed to have a production capacity of 57 million mt/year by that time.

Novatek brought online its first 5.5 million mt/year LNG train at the three-train Yamal LNG facility in December 2017, and has since commissioned the second and third trains.

The company is also close to making a final investment decision on a new LNG plant -- Arctic LNG-2 -- which would have a production capacity of 19.8 million mt/year.

It is moving forward with its plans on the expectation of growing global LNG demand, which Gyetvay said could reach 700 million mt/year by 2030.

That compares with trade of around 314 million mt/year last year, according to data from industry group GIIGNL.

ARCTIC LNG-2 PARTNERS

Novatek is close to finalizing the partnership structure for Arctic LNG-2 having sold 10% to France's Total and having agreed to sell 10% stakes to China's CNPC and CNOOC.

Given that Novatek wants to keep a 60% stake in the project, that leaves 10% to sell, Gyetvay said.

"In a relatively short time we will announce a fourth partner," he said.

Novatek has been in talks with Saudi Aramco about taking a stake in the project as the country looks to potential LNG imports in the future.

FID on the project is expected early in the third quarter of 2019, he added.

In terms of cost, Arctic LNG-2 would be $700-750/mt, but including the field development cost for the feedgas the cost would be $1,050/mt, he said.

As well as producing LNG, Novatek is planning two transshipment centers -- one in the east in Kamchatka and one in the west at Murmansk -- to optimize shipping.

The Kamchatka transshipment facility is expected to begin operations around 2022, the same time as the Arctic LNG-2 project.