MOSCOW - Russian state-controlled gas giant OAO Gazprom and OAO Novatek, the country's largest independent producer, signed a deal Thursday to create a joint venture to produce liquefied natural gas on the Yamal peninsula in the Arctic, Gazprom said in a statement.
The venture will draw up plans to develop gasfields and build an LNG plant, the statement said. The companies plan to approve the project's main parameters, including a timetable for making a final investment decision and conditions for financing, by the end of the year.
The venture could eventually produce around 16.5 million metric tons of LNG per year, Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller was quoted as saying by Prime news agency on Thursday.
Novatek is already developing an LNG project on the peninsula with France's Total SA, which is expected to launch in 2016.
Russia's government is considering Novatek's application for permission to sell LNG from the project abroad. Gazprom currently has a monopoly on gas exports.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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