On the one hand there is China and Japan, on the other France and Russia. At the center Liquid Natural Gas, an increasingly central resource in countries’ exports and budgets, especially in a "lean" period when plummeting petrol prices are jeopardizing national budgets.
Many companies have begun looking with increasing insistence to the East, to export towards those countries that have infrastructures and ports for exporting and receiving LNG. One in all, China. And Paris - via the Engie companies – is looking to Beijing to boost its LNG exports. The company has in fact been chosen by China to receive 10 ships loaded with gas over the next 12 months, starting from November.
While Russia continues to look towards Japan – Beijing’s historic trading partner - and now has the Tokyo market in its sights, according to the EIA among the largest LNG importers in the world. Tokyo's demand for gas - according to the EIA forecasts - will grow by 1% annually, twice US growth, despite the economic slowdown that has affected Japan in recent years.
In order to export to Japan hence the Russian company Gazprom is building a floating platform as part of the Sakhalin II plant: final approval of the project should arrive in 2017, while activity is scheduled to start up in 2022. "Sakhalin II - explained Alexander Medvedev, company Management Committee Deputy Chairman – is one of the best projects of the last 10-15 years. And if there is sufficient demand in Japan, we will make the expansion of our business a priority, marking an important step in the future cooperation between Russia and Japan."