Tokyo says the move will help maintain Japan’s energy security
Japanese energy company SODECO has decided to retain its 30% stake in the new entity that will manage the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project in Russia’s Far East, Japan’s Economy and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura announced on Friday.
“It’s an extremely important project,” he said, welcoming the decision which, according to him, will help ensure Japan’s energy security.
Nishimura said SODECO now has to notify Moscow of its decision by November 11, the deadline set by Russia. The Japanese government owns a 50% stake in SODECO, other shares being held by private companies including trading firms Itochu and Marubeni, as well as and energy companies Inpex and Japan Petroleum Exploration.
Moscow announced a plan to establish a new local operator for Sakhalin-1 in early October. The project was previously managed by US oil giant ExxonMobil, which quit earlier this year amid Western anti-Russia sanctions.
Foreign stakeholders, namely Japan’s SODECO and India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), were given one month to announce whether they wanted to keep their stakes in the new company. ONGC announced its decision to retain its stake in Sakhalin-1 earlier this week.
Japan also recently said its companies Mitsubishi and Mitsui will keep their stakes in Sakhalin-2, another oil and gas project in Russia’s Far East, which also transferred to a new operator.
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