The start of LNG production follows recent approval from the Russian government to commission the main technological facilities of the LNG plant’s first stage in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug in north-west Siberia, Russia.

The permission also includes the first liquefaction train, 58 gas wells and respective infrastructure.

The first LNG train is designed to have capacity of 5.5 million tons per annum (MTPA). The load is planned to be shipped using the world’s first ice-class LNG tanker, Christophe de Margerie.

Novatek has 50.1% stake in Yamal LNG, while other partners include China’s Silk Road Fund with 9.9% stake as well as France’s Total and China National Petroleum each holing 20% interest.

The Yamal LNG project involves construction of the natural gas liquefaction plant based on the Yamal Peninsula, above the Arctic Circle. It uses the hydrocarbon resources of the South-Tambeyskoye field.

Planned to be built in three phases, the Yamal LNG plant is expected to produce 16.5MTPA of LNG and up to 1.2MTPA of gas condensate.

The second and third phases of the project are scheduled for start-up in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Novatek management board Leonid Mikhelson said: "This event marks a milestone accomplishment for the Yamal LNG project. The commencement of LNG production begins a new chapter in our corporate history.

“Many contractors and suppliers from Russia and abroad were involved in this project. We have received great support from the Russian government in implementing this project.”

Production from the project will be exported to Asia Pacific and European markets.

Image: The first LNG cargo from Yamal LNG project is planned to be exported via LNG tanker, Christophe de Margerie. Photo: courtesy of NOVATEK.RU.