* No gas agreements announced during the Russia-Japan summit
* Putin: Gazprom ready to help Japan with gas facilities
* Rosneft, Mitsui sign MOU on petrochemical plant in Russia
(Releads, adds detail, quote, analyst comment)
MOSCOW, April 29 Russia and Japan failed to
clinch any major agreement on energy during Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe's visit to Moscow, falling short of hopes for
cooperation to help meet the needs of the world's largest LNG
Tokyo had expected Russia to present a proposal for Japan to
participate in gas export monopoly Gazprom's $38
billion plan to develop and connect its gas fields in eastern
Siberia to a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export hub near the
Pacific port of Vladivostok.
But no such offer was presented, at least during public
discussions on Monday with President Vladimir Putin, who said
only that Gazprom was ready to help Japan build new facilities
to import gas.
"The long and expensive supply route of the Vladivostok LNG
plant may raise the cost of Russian gas above the level of price
expected by Japan," Mikhail Korchemkin, executive director of
Pennsylvania-based consultancy East European Gas Analysis.
Putin spoke at a joint briefing with Abe, who was elected
last year, during the first full-fledged bilateral summit in the
Russian capital in a decade.
"Gazprom is ready to invest its resources in increasing
Japan's capacity to import gas and to invest money in the
Japanese gas pipeline system," Putin said.
Russia seeks to strengthen its footing in Asia as it warily
watches China's economic growth, despite warm ties with Beijing
Russia could use Japanese money and know-how to develop its
sparsely populated far east.
During Abe's visit, Russia managed to secure one energy
agreement - a memorandum of understanding between Rosneft
and Mitsui on joint development of a Rosneft
petrochemical project in Russia due for commissioning in 2017.
The project is expected to process 3.4 million tonnes of
fuel, mostly naphtha, to produce ethylene and propylene.
(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin;
Editing by Douglas Busvine and Jane Baird)