MOSCOW, January 17. /TASS/. The expansion of the Sakhalin-2 project has not been suspended, the issue is on the agenda, Cederic Cremers, Executive Vice President and Country Chair Russia at Shell, told reporters. According to him, the assessment of the resource base for the third phase of the project may take more than a year.
"It [expansion] has not been suspended. The issue is on the agenda. Yes, it will take longer than we expected before," he said.
At the same time, Cremers believes that the timing will not affect the competitive position of the project, which is located close to the main consumers.
"We proceed from the fact that Sakhalin-1 resources will not be available to us, so Sakhalin Energy should work on developing our own resources and the opportunities that are nearby. We are working on this program now. First of all, we need to evaluate how long we will be able to support the first two lines. I think this will take more than a year," Cremers said, answering a question about the prospects for expanding the capacity of the Sakhalin-2 plant.
In November 2019, Reuters reported, citing sources, that the expansion of the Sakhalin-2 LNG plant was suspended due to a lack of a resource base, international sanctions and Gazprom's plans to expand gas supplies to China.
On Friday, Cremers also said that Shell intends to expand its business in Russia, focusing on oil projects in Western Siberia and LNG projects.
"Of course, we are expanding our oil business in Western Siberia, and our goal is to grow and further expand our presence here. As for gas, we are major players in the LNG market (liquefied natural gas - TASS). We believe that Russia can grow in this market and become a global leader. Our goal is to understand how to strengthen and improve our position on Sakhalin, everyone knows that there are technical difficulties there," he said.
Sakhalin-2 is Russia's first liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant. It was launched in 2009, and a year later reached its full capacity of 9.6 mln tonnes of LNG per year.
Since then, Sakhalin Energy, the operator of the Sakhalin-2 project, managed to further increase production and as the result the production reached 11.41 mln tonnes of LNG in 2018.
Gazprom holds 50% plus one share in Sakhalin Energy, while Shell has 27.5% minus one share, Mitsui&Co. Ltd owns 12.5%, Mitsubishi Corporation holds 10%.
The construction of the third phase will increase the plant's capacity to 15 million tonnes.
In April 2019, it was reported that Sakhalin Energy completed the development of the project's documentation for the construction of the third phase of the project, but it is too early to speak about the end of negotiations on raw gas to expand the plant.
In May 2019, Gazprom announced that it was considering Sakhalin-3 gas as a resource base for expansion of the Sakhalin-2 LNG plant.