Sakhalin-2 receives LNG for plant testing, startup

SEIC, operator of the Sakhalin-2 project, has received a second shipment of LNG for use in testing and start-up operations at its gas liquefaction plant on Sakhalin Island.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 17 -- Sakhalin Energy Investment Co., operator of the Sakhalin-2 project, has received a second shipment of LNG for use in testing and start-up operations at its gas liquefaction plant on Sakhalin Island.

The company said it took a day to offload Marathon Oil Corp.'s Arctic Sun shipment of 85,000 cu m of Alaskan LNG into two LNG storage tanks at Prigorodnoye on southern Sakhalin Island.

Sakhalin Energy said the primarily methane Alaskan LNG is "ideally suited" for commissioning and testing the LNG facility. It said the process began in July, with the initial shipment of LNG delivered from Indonesia.

Sakhalin Energy said the Arctic Sun would return to its normal duties in Alaska, where, along with its sister ship the Polar Eagle, it normally transports LNG to Japan. The firm did not say why the sourcing shifted to Alaska from Indonesia.

The arrival of the Alaska LNG came just days after a naming ceremony Oct. 4 for two new 147,000 cu m LNG carriers—the Grand Elena and Grand Aniva—at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.'s Nagasaki facility.

The two carriers were built for a Japanese-Russian joint venture of Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) and Russia's state-owned JSC Sovcomflot under a contract awarded Nov. 15, 2004.

Sakhalin Energy has chartered the carriers long-term to deliver LNG to customers in Asia-Pacific. The two tankers are ice-strengthened and designed to operate at low temperatures to ensure year-round operations from Sakhalin.

Earlier this month, the Russian government announced plans to build a new port at Ilyinsky on Sakhalin Island to export oil and gas from offshore fields (OGJ Online, Oct. 1, 2007).

Meanwhile, an environmental impact report, produced by AEA Technology for potential lenders to the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas development project in Russia's Far East, gave an overall green light, with some reservations, to the project.

Potential lenders include the Export Credits Guarantee Department of Great Britain, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Export-Import Bank of the US.

Prior to the report's publication, Russian Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev said he would travel to Sakhalin "around November" to assess the situation.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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