In the coming days Russia will receive $20 mln bonus for Sakhalin-2 realisation

In the coming days a total of $20 mln will be transferred to the Russian government's accounts as a bonus for the beginning of realisation of the Sakhalin-2 second stage, Chairman of the Shell board of directors Philip Watts has reported. Shell is one of the main shareholders of Sakhalin Energy.

On Thursday Moscow announced the beginning of the second stage of the Sakhalin-2 project, which will consume a total of about $10 bln of investment within few years.

According to Watts, the Russian government "has already received about $300 mln as a bonus for the project".

Besides, during realisation the Russian side is due to receive about $45 bln dollars in taxes, reimbursement of earlier applied costs to develop deposits and returns for the Russian share of carbohydrates.

Shareholders of Sakhalin Energy include the Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi companies having 55, 25 and 20 per cent of shares respectively.

The Russian government highly appreciates the beginning of the second stage of the Sakhalin-2 realisation. According to Vice Premier Viktor Khristenko, it is a crucial day for the Russian government, for it marks the beginning of a crucial stage of the project and fixes a ten-billion-dollar investment. "Undoubtedly, it give us satisfaction as well as hope," Khristenko stated.

Sakhalin-2 envisages all-year-round oil production for 2006. The volume of oil extraction at the production peak will amount to 175,000 barrels a day. The first deliveries of liquefied natural gas are planned for 2007. The extraction volume is expected to reach 9.5 mln tons a year.

Oil and gas fields involved in the Sakhalin-2 project contain up to 1.1 bln barrels of oil and 360 mln tons of gas in a liquid equivalent.

For the first time in the history Japan will buy Russian gas. The first contract to sell natural gas extracted in the framework of Sakhalin-2 has been already concluded with the Japanese Tokyo Gas Company.

It is also possible that Sakhalin Energy will sell gas to South Korea and Taiwan.

According to expert estimates, gas reserves of Sakhalin-2 allow covering at least 10 per cent of the demand on the Asian market.

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