Putin blesses multibillion-dollar bet on Russia competing in LNG

The Russian president has overseen the official start of a billion-dollar LNG plant. There are ambitions to compete with LNG leader Qatar.

Photo: /ritzau/AP/Pavel Golovkin

As Russia’s President Vladimir Putin oversees the official start of a USD 27 billion liquefied natural gas plant in the snow-covered tundra of northern Siberia, his mind may wander to its biggest competitor more than 3,000 miles away in Qatar.

While the two regions may have vastly different climates, Putin is determined to make Russia’s Arctic competitive in the fuel that turned Qatar into the richest nation per capita. On Friday, he will witness the loading of the first custom-built icebreaking tanker from the Yamal LNG plant in a region that potentially contains more gas than the Persian Gulf, flanked by a delegation that includes the energy minister of Saudi Arabia.

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