Russia already competes with Qatar, the world’s largest exporter, by selling LNG into the Asia-Pacific market and plans to boost output, joining planned Australian and North American LNG projects targeting the region. Russia’s 10mn tons/year Sakhalin-2 LNG plant in the country’s Pacific Far East, in 2011 exported 14.4bcm to Asia-Pacific – 9.8bcm to Japan and 3.9bcm to South Korea.

State-owned Gazprom signed a preliminary deal in September 2012 with the Japanese government, which will help fund a planned $13bn 10mn t/y LNG export terminal in Vladivostok – like Sakhalin only 3 days’ shipping to Tokyo, compared to almost 3 weeks’ from Qatar. This is scheduled for first phase completion by 2017-20. Gazprom may subsequently increase its capacity to 25mn t/y, but has not provided a specific timetable (MEES, 21 September 2012). (CONTINUED - 981 WORDS)