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Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com: Japan has a request of Exxon Mobil

From The Houston Chronicle

Tokyo Electric Power Co. and other Japanese buyers of natural gas are lobbying Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp. to link up with Royal Dutch Shell to cut costs of the fuel from Russia to Asia’s biggest market.

Tokyo Electric, the world’s biggest buyer of liquefied natural gas, recently asked Exxon Mobil to consider abandoning a plan to pipe natural gas from Russia to Japan and instead turn the fuel into LNG, said Hiroyasu Murakashi, a manager at Tokyo Electric. Japanese companies are calling for an alliance of the gas projects now under way in Russia’s Sakhalin region.

Combining Exxon Mobil-led Sakhalin-1 and Shell-led Sakhalin-2 would reduce costs and prices. Shell last July doubled its estimate for the cost of developing Sakhalin-2 to $20 billion, and Russia’s Gazprom is reviewing cost overruns.

Exxon Mobil spokesman Robert Davis declined to comment on whether the company has talked with Japanese energy companies on the issue.

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