Novatek interested in Repsol assets but no talks
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Novatek (NVTK.MM), the country's second-largest producer of natural gas, is in theory interested in liquefied natural gas (LNG) assets put up for sale by Spain's Repsol (REP.MC), but is not in any discussions on a possible bid, CEO Leonid Mikhelson told reporters on Tuesday.
"The Repsol assets are of interest to us, but we are not in talks," Mikhelson told reporters.
Sources said in September that Novatek, which ranks second after Gazprom (GAZP.MM) as a natural gas producer in Russia, was likely to be among the companies to present bids for a package of LNG assets put up for sale to help the Spanish oil company cope with its debt.
The assets include a 75 percent stake in a regasification plant in Canada, a 20 percent stake in a liquefaction plant in Peru and a 23 percent interest in a liquefaction plant in Trinidad and Tobago.
Novatek's activities on international markets are constrained by the export monopoly of state-controlled Gazprom, but LNG is a grey area. Novatek is planning to build its own LNG plant in Russia and could share export rights with Gazprom.
The plant is being built on the Arctic Yamal peninsula in partnership with France's Total (TOTF.PA).
Novatek's current strategy is focused on selling domestically produced gas to Russian clients, and the group has sealed several term supply deals with steelmakers in recent months. But it would like export rights and has taken steps to build an international supply business.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Melissa Akin; Editing by David Holmes)
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