Novatek CEO sees RussiaТs gas exports liberalization poorly timed
MOSCOW, Jul 25 (PRIME) Ц Immediate liberalization of RussiaТs natural gas exports will be poorly timed, Leonid Mikhelson, CEO of independent gas producer Novatek, said in an interview to Kommersant business daily published on Wednesday.
CEO of FranceТs Total Patrick Pouyanne previously asked President Vladimir Putin to carry out a reform and allow TotalТs joint venture with Novatek to export pipeline gas to Europe. Currently, only gas giant Gazprom is allowed to export pipeline gas.
УThis issue is very politicized, and we, the Russian side, were not the ones who did it. The decision of Vladimir Vladimirovich (Putin) not to give a direct answer is a totally right position. We can obviously understand our partners. They invested in development of the Termokarstovoye field located 350 kilometers off the unified gas supply system, and the economy there is not that great,Ф Mikhelson said.
УIt is obvious that Total would like to export part of that gas to raise its return on investment. But the project is bringing back money slowly even without exports. The solution of the issue in gas export liberalization is poorly timed given the current situation.Ф
He said that development of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry is more relevant today.