Natural gas supplies to Japan within the framework of the Sakhalin-1 project might start in late 2008, Exxon Neftegaz Ltd. Deputy General Director Vladimir Astafyev told RBC. According to him, two routes of Sakhalin gas exports are considered currently: Japan and China. Exports to China are more profitable for Russia, because gas would be transported through Russia's Far East. However, Exxon believes that Sakhalin gas will be exported to Japan, since China is not able to consume the whole amount of gas exports. According to the company, Sakhalin gas supplies might amount to about 10bn cubic meters of gas.
The volume of Sakhalin gas reserves is estimated at 485bn cubic meters. The feasibility study of the project envisages the construction of a pipeline with an 8bn cubic meter capacity per year.
Exxon Neftegaz Ltd. is the operator of the Sakhalin-1 project with a 30-percent stake in it. The Japanese company Sodeco has 30 percent, Indian ONGK Videsh Ltd. has 20 percent, Sakhalinmorneftegaz-Shelf owns 11.5 percent and Astra 8.5 percent.