Oil & Gas

26 Mar 2024

Gazprom's Unit Buys Former Shell Stake in Sakhalin Energy for $1 Bln

26 Mar 2024  by reuters   

A view shows the Gazprom logo installed on the roof of building in Saint Petersburg, Russia February 5, 2024. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov Purchase Licensing Rights
Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom (GAZP.MM), opens new tab has acquired a 27.5% stake, formerly owned by Shell (SHEL.L), opens new tab, in Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer Sakhalin Energy for around $1 billion, according to a government order.

The government also officially nullified its order a year ago on selling the stake to Gazprom's rival, Novatek (NVTK.MM), opens new tab, without explanation.

The Russian government said late on Monday that the 27.5% stake in Sakhalin Energy is due to be sold to a company called Sakhalin Project for 94.8 billion roubles ($1.02 billion).

Sakhalin Project is fully owned by Gazprom, company filings showed. Gazprom declined additional comments, while Novatek did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gazprom owns 50% in Sakhalin Energy located in the southern tip of Russia's Pacific island of Sakhalin. Other shareholders are Japanese companies Mitsui (8031.T), opens new tab (12.5%) and Mitsubishi (8058.T), opens new tab (10%).

Following Moscow's decision to send troops into Ukraine in February 2022, Shell said it would quit the project, in which it held a stake worth 27.5% minus one share.

The company booked a $1.6 billion impairment related to the Russian LNG project in the first quarter of 2022. Shell was not immediately available for comment.

Sources have said Shell believed there was a risk Russia would nationalise foreign-held assets, while Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said Moscow would retaliate against the United States and its allies for freezing Russian assets and other sanctions.

In June 2022, the Sakhalin-2 operating company was transformed into a Russian entity via a presidential decree.

Shell as well as Mitsui and Mitsubishi were then asked to apply to keep their stakes if they wanted to.

Moscow invited firms interested in obtaining Shell's stake - as well as Exxon Mobil's (XOM.N), opens new tab abandoned share in the sister Sakahlin-1 project - to submit applications to the government.

In 2022, Sakhalin energy accounted for almost 3% of global LNG demand. Its cargoes mainly head to Japan, South Korea, China, India and other Asian countries.

Last year, it produced more than 10 million metric tons of LNG, down from 11.5 million tons in 2022.


More News