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First LNG cargo ready to leave Russian Arctic

Staff Writer |
Total said the first cargo of liquefied natural gas is leaving an Arctic facility in Russia, one of the largest in the world.

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The French company holds a 20 percent stake in the Yamal liquefied natural gas project, alongside China National Petroleum Corp., with a 20 percent stake, and Novatek, Russia's largest independent gas company and the majority stakeholder. Total said the first cargo of LNG was ready for shipment as of early Friday.

"Together we managed to build from scratch a world-class LNG project in extreme conditions to exploit the vast gas resources of the Yamal peninsula," Total Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné said in a statement.

The Yamal LNG project has the capacity to produce about 16.5 million tons of natural gas, and exports could target consumers in the Far East. Up to 16 ice-class carriers could be designated to ship LNG year-round to global consumers from the far north Kara Sea.

Pouyanne joined Russian Cabinet officials in June for a ceremony naming a tanker designated for Arctic LNG after former Total CEO Christophe de Margerie, who died in a plane crash in Moscow in 2014

The first train, the facility that converts gas to the liquid form, went into production early this week. Two more trains will be in service by 2019.

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