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Gazprom Sees 1st LNG Sakhalin II Shipment on Track

Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom said on Thursday the first cargo of liquefied natural gas from the Sakhalin II project was on schedule for shipment in mid-March, AFX News Limited reported

"It will leave in accordance with the schedule somewhere in the middle of March," Alexander Medvedev, the company's deputy chairman of the management committee, told Reuters outside a conference in New York City.

The cargo is destined for Japan and travel time is expected to be two days.

The shipment marks Russia's first ever LNG project.

Sakhalin Energy will produce 6 million tonnes of LNG this year, or around two thirds of its designed capacity, Russia's Energy Ministry said this week.

The ministry gave the information after months of speculation that the firm could fall behind schedule.

Sakhalin, located on the Russian Pacific island of the same name, was slated to launch at the beginning of 2009, after several delays since September 2008.

Gazprom bought control of the $22 billion project after a prolonged crisis that forced Royal Dutch Shell, the project's former leader, and its partners to reduce their holdings.

Shell is now a minority shareholder, along with Japan's Mitsubishi and Mitsui.

Gazprom is the world's largest gas company, supplying a quarter of Europe's gas.

Source: AFX News Limited