France's Total SA has recently upped its equity holdings in Russian OAO Novatek, buying an additional 2 per cent into the company for $800 million. Total SA's overall stake control in Russia's fastest-growing gas producer is now at 14.1 per cent.
In a statement on Monday, Total said the acquisition was made from buying the shares of OAO Novatek's two main shareholders, who were Chief Executive Officer Leonid Mikhelson and billionaire partner Gennady Timchenko, as contained in an agreement signed on March 2011.
Total SA is also OAO Novatek's main overseas partner on the Yamal LNG project, controlling 20 per cent of the project.
On Monday, OAO Novatek said it plans to double its gas output by 2020 to gain a bigger share of the domestic market as well as break into global markets by producing liquefied natural gas ( LNG ).
The company supplies 13 per cent of the domestic market. Overall production for the first nine months 2011 reached 38.6 billion cubic metres of gas, up by 45 per cent a year ago.
Meanwhile, despite high LNG prices and an attractive market in Asia, Total SA said it would continue to serve all markets worldwide and retain a strong presence in all continents through the entire value chain. Total SA's operations in Indonesia, Brunei, Australia, Yemen, Norway, Qatar and Nigeria already serve the Asian market and the company looks to expand its global footprint.
OAO Novatek seeks to supply fuel to Europe, Asia and South America via transshipment.
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