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Russia unveiled its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Sakhalin
Russia unveiled its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Sakhalin on Wednesday in a ceremony involving President Dmitry Medvedev.

The plant is designed to liquefy gas produced as part of the Sakhalin-II oil and gas project off Russia's Pacific Coast. It will produce some 9.6 million metric tons of LNG annually.

Companies from Japan, the United States and South Korea have already signed contracts with Russia to buy the bulk of the gas within the next 25 years. Tankers with a capacity of 18,000 to 145,000 cubic meters will be used to deliver the LNG from the plant.

The opening ceremony was also attended by Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, British Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and Dutch Economics Minister Maria van der Hoeven.

The $20 billion Sakhalin II project includes the Piltun-Astokhskoye and Lunskoye oil and gas fields on Sakhalin Island's northeastern shelf, with recoverable reserves estimated at 150 million tons (1.1 billion bbl) of oil and 500 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

The minority partners in the project, Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi, currently hold 27.5%, 12.5% and 10% stakes in the project respectively. Gazprom acquired a controlling stake (50% plus one share) in the project in December 2006.


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