June 22, 2018 / 4:36 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Putin says S.Korea's Kogas may join Arctic LNG-2 project

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MOSCOW, June 22 (Reuters) - South Korea’s state-run Korea Gas Corp may join Russia’s Arctic LNG-2 project, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday after talks with South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in in Moscow.

Russian energy company Novatek and KOGAS signed an agreement on liquefied natural gas (LNG) cooperation and said they had decided to increase Russian gas deliveries to South Korea.

Novatek said in a statement the companies “agreed to explore opportunities for KOGAS to enter the Arctic LNG 2 project and possible LNG off-take from the project”.

The agreement shows the Kremlin’s ability to find foreign partners despite Western sanctions.

French energy major Total agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in the Arctic gas project under a deal struck during Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Russia last month.

LNG production itself in Russia is not subject to sanctions, but Russian companies’ ability to raise financing is constrained by the punitive measures introduced for Moscow’s role in the Ukrainian conflict and alleged meddling in U.S. elections.

Russia plans to double its share of the global LNG market from about 4 percent now by 2020. Qatar is the biggest LNG exporter, with a 30 percent market share. (Reporting by Denis Pinchuk and Polina Nikolskaya; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Mark Potter)

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