As reported by Reuters on 29 October 2012, Gazprom has decided to reduce its current dependence on European gas markets by focusing more on Asian markets, as demanded by President Vladimir Putin. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller duly told Putin on Monday that Russia’s gas export monopoly would be investing an estimated RUB 770 billion (approximately GBP 15 billion) in the construction of a 2,000 mile pipeline from its Chayanda gas deposit to Vladivostok. with completion scheduled for 2017. Gazprom has already announced plans to build with Japanese companies a liquefied natural gas plant by 2020.
While these appear to be wise moves at present, provided that shale gas doesn’t become prevalent, as was the case with a previous targeted export market (the USA), the actual cost remains unclear, as in the past Gazprom’s estimates have been wide of the mark, due in no small part, no doubt to the various backhanders and other corrupt practices involved in the process.
At the same time, politics will play a role going forward, as the mutual suspicions of Russia and China are likely to continue going forward.