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Shell and Gazprom talk on Japan gas

Royal Dutch Shell has cemented its partnership with Gazprom by discussing asset swaps and how to increase shipments of gas to Japan, where the Fukushima nuclear disaster has caused an energy shortage.

Shell revealed last year that it would let Gazprom share some of its projects abroad if it is allowed to help develop the third and fourth stages of the lucrative Sakhalin island in Russia. Photo: EPA

Rowena Mason
By Rowena Mason 7:57PM BST 12 Apr 2011

Peter Voser, Shell chief executive, flew to Moscow for meetings with Alexey Miller, the head of Gazprom, where they talked about deals related to Siberia and Asia.

“While discussing the situation on global energy markets, both sides considered the issue of increasing LNG [liquefied natural gas] supplies to Japan from the Sakhalin-2 project as the fastest way to stabilise power supply for its consumers,” a Gazprom spokesman said.

Shell revealed last year that it would let Gazprom share some of its projects abroad if it is allowed to help develop the third and fourth stages of the lucrative Sakhalin island in Russia. Deals could even take the form of asset swaps, as Gazprom seeks to increase its presence on the international stage. Sakhalin is thought to contain reserves of more than 14bn barrels of oil equivalent.

Tuesday’s talks appear to continue a remarkable turnaround in historically strained relations between Shell and Russia.

It was four years since Russia forced Shell to cede control of its $22bn (£14bn) Siberian field, Sakhalin-2, to Gazprom, but it appears that cordial relations have been re-established.

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant was forced to sell down its 55pc stake in Sakhalin-2 to Gazprom in 2006 in a powerful display of Russian resource nationalism.

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