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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Gazprom Plans 3-5 Bcf/d of LNG Exports to North America, NGI Reports

06-01-2009 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - DULLES, Va. Up to 1.5 Bcf/d of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) could make its way to North America by the end of this year, with more on the way long term, the managing director of Gazprom Marketing & Trading USA Inc. (GM&T) told gas buyers and sellers recently at the GasMart 2009 conference and trade show in Chicago. "We will begin marketing and trading in North America this year," said GM&T's John Hattenberger. "Our goal is to be a major trading company in North America. We expect to be marketing 3-5 Bcf/d through 2020. Our vision is clear. When our LNG does come to North America, we will have a huge supply position,” Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI) reported. Hattenberger, who previously had worked in LNG for Marathon Oil and El Paso Corp., opened a Houston office for GazProm three years ago. It has yet to deliver any gas in the U.S. An indication that is about to change could be seen in the fact Gazprom representatives appeared for the first time as a sponsor in the GasMart Market Network Center alongside BP and ConocoPhillips. By the end of this year Gazprom expects to see an additional 5.5 Bcf/d of LNG capacity in the world market with around 1.4 Bcf/d of that targeted for North America. Another 5.2 Bcf/d or more of LNG capacity will go on-line in 2010, with more than 2.9 Bcf/d on target for North America, said Hattenberger. Why the push to bring more gas supplies to what appears to be an oversupplied market? "The recession has led to world demand destruction and increased global LNG production. Demand in Japan is down, so there is a drive to North America. There are plenty of ships right now to move into the Atlantic Basin. The infinite sink market for gas is the U.S." "Once liquefaction is built, it tends to just run. No LNG player would think about shutting down. LNG producers will not turn down production, and they will bring it here even at a lower price," Hattenberger said, explaining Gazprom’s calculation of fixed and variable costs.

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