(Bloomberg) — Japan will seek to maintain its stake in the Sakhalin-2 natural gas project in Russia’s far east, the Nikkei newspaper said, after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree transferring rights to a new Russian company just over two weeks ago.
The decree gave stakeholders a month to say whether they’ll take a holding in the new company. The Japanese government has proposed to trading companies with stakes in the existing operator that they remain as shareholders after the transfer, the paper reported, without saying where it got the information.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Koichi Hagiuda on Friday, the Nikkei said. Hagiuda subsequently told reporters that they had agreed the stake should be maintained.
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Before the transfer, the project was 27.5% owned by Shell, 12.5% by Mitsui & Co and 10% by Mitsubishi Corp. Japan relies on Russia for about 9% of its LNG, and almost all imports from the nation are Sakhalin-2 supplies.
Kishida is pushing for as many as nine of Japan’s nuclear reactors to be operating this winter as the country faces a severe energy crunch.
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