MOSCOW - Russia's largest independent gas producer OAO Novatek said Wednesday it has received environmental approval for a liquefied natural gas project in the Arctic and that construction will begin soon.
Yamal LNG, a joint project with France's Total SA, is expected to produce its first gas at the start of 2017, with output eventually reaching 16.5 million metric tons per year.
Last week, Novatek said it was in advanced talks with a number of potential clients, including China and India on selling LNG supplies from the Arctic project.
Novatek has been banking on Russia's government ending state-controlled OAO Gazprom's monopoly on gas exports and allowing other firms to sell LNG on foreign markets, which are more lucrative than Russia's. Last month, President Vladimir Putin instructed government officials to consider liberalizing exports to boost Russia's share of the global LNG market from 3.6%.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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