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AFP: Russian gas sector open to Japanese investment: Gazprom

Thu Jan 25, 2:10 PM ET

MOSCOW (AFP) – The CEO of Russian gas giant Gazprom met with a top Japanese government official for talks aimed at encouraging Japanese investment in natural gas technology in Russia, Gazprom said in a statement.

Alexei Miller and Harufumi Mochizuki, director of Japan’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, held the talks in Moscow and a co-operation agreement was signed, it said.

“Particular attention was paid to the need to attract Japanese investment and technology in developing gas refining, chemistry and machine building,” the statement added.

Japan “confirmed its interest in the creation of a system of regular consultations with Gazprom,” a spokesman for the Japanese embassy was quoted by ITAR-TASS news agency as saying.

“Japan counts on co-operation with Gazprom, which is the main shareholder in the Sakhalin-2 project, so that conditions for stable supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan are guaranteed,” the official said.

State-controlled Gazprom last month bought a 50 percent plus one stake in the giant Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project in far eastern Russia that also involves British-Dutch oil group Shell and two Japanese firms.

Japan has virtually no energy reserves and is increasingly switching to natural gas for its energy needs. The country imports around 96 percent of the natural gas it consumes, according to official Japanese figures.

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