MOSCOW, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Gazprom said on Thursday it had discovered a new gas deposit during exploration at the Kirinskoye field in the Sea of Okhotsk near Russia's Sakhalin island.
The field is crucial for Gazprom's plans to raise liquefied gas production at its Sakhalin-2 plant on the island. It has not disclosed the reserves of the newly discovered deposit.
Shell, which also has a stake in the LNG plant, may also get a share in the Kirinskoye field as part of an asset swap deal with Gazprom, though the prospects for this are uncertain because of international sanctions for Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis. These bar Western companies from development of deep-sea gas deposits in Russia and from some oil fields as well.
In 2015, the United States restricted exports, re-exports and transfers of technology and equipment to the Yuzhno-Kirinskoye field, part of the wider Kirinskoye deposit.
Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev told the Reuters Russia Investment Summit last week that Gazprom had not yet chosen which assets it wanted to swap under its deal with Shell.
The Sakhalin-2 plant, which currently produces 10 million tonnes of LNG per year, is due to add another 5 million tonnes of LNG to allow Russia to come closer to its target of 5 percent of the global LNG market.
(Reporting by Polina Devitt; Writing by Denis Pinchuk and Vladimir Soldatkin. Editing by Jane Merriman)
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