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Qatar discussing stake in Novatek’s Yamal project

The Qatari government is currently in talks with Novatek (LSE: 65DB.L), Russia’s second-largest gas producer, to acquire a holding in the Yamal LNG project, said Qatar’s energy minister.

“Qatar is very much interested in investment generally in oil, gas and petrochemicals. Yamal is an important project and we are really interested in participating in its development,” energy minister, Mohammed al-Sada, was quoted by Reuters. “We are in active discussions and negotiations with our partners.”

“The opportunity of Qatar joining to Yamal has been discussed. Our country is committed to developing long-term gas production and will be a major actor in the LNG market in five to six years,” Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko told a news conference in Qatar on Sunday.

The Yamal project will develop the South Tambey field in the Arctic area of the Yamal peninsula. The condensate and gas deposit is expected to yield around 5Mt of LNG annually from 2016 onwards, ramping up to 15Mta by 2018.

Novatek sold 20% of the project to France-based Total for US$425m and the company’s CEO said two or three additional foreign partners could join as investors. Qatar Petroleum, ONGC, Statoil and Shell are all considered potential partners.

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