Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Aramco has offered to buy a stake in Russia’s liquefied natural gas project Arctic LNG 2 and hopes that project operator Novatek will accept the offer, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister and chairman at Aramco, Khalid al-Falih, told Russian news agency TASS in an interview published on Monday. Saudi Aramco has long been rumored to be considering buying a stake in the Arctic LNG 2 project. Asked about recent reports that Aramco has backed out of a possible deal for the Russian LNG project, al-Falih told TASS: “No, no, this is not true. Aramco extended the offer and we hope that offer will be accepted by Novatek.”
In April, Novatek signed agreements with two Chinese companies, under which the Asian firms will become shareholders in the Arctic LNG project with 10 percent each. Earlier this year, France’s Total, a partner of Novatek in the producing Yamal LNG project, signed a deal to buy a direct 10-percent interest in Arctic LNG 2.