April 12 (Reuters) - Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp will form a joint venture with South Korean SK Shipping Co to buy two liquid natural gas (LNG) carriers to transport shale gas and lease them to Total SA, the Nikkei reported.
Marubeni will be the minority partner in the business with a 49 percent stake, the business daily said, citing unnamed sources.
The joint venture will handle tasks such as fuel procurement, scheduling and maintenance, the paper said.
The LNG carriers, which will be built by Samsung Heavy Industries Co Ltd for a total of 46 billion yen ($462.08 million), will be leased to Total for up to 30 years, Nikkei said.
One of the carriers will carry shale gas from the United States to South Korea, while the other will transport gas from Australia to the Asian nation, the daily said. ($1 = 99.55 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)