Russia's Gazprom to buy LNG from Israel's Tamar project

Russian natural gas giant Gazprom yesterday signed a deal with Israel's Levant LNG Marketing Corp to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Tamar offshore gas field in the Mediterranean Sea, about 80 km off Israel's west coast city of Haifa.

Under the deal, which has materialised after a year of negotiations, Gazprom will buy 4.2 billion cubic metres (bcm) of LNG annually from the Tamar field for the next 20 years.

Levant LNG, a joint venture between South Korea's Daewoo and US firm Next Decade, is responsible for marketing LNG to potential buyers.

Gazprom, which traditionally supplies natural gas through pipelines to its customers, is eager  to diversify into lucrative LNG trading business eying Japan, South Korea, China and India, where LNG prices are about double compared with Europe.

Gazprom Marketing & Trading (GM&T) CEO Vitaly Vasiliev said, ''This is an important milestone for strengthening Gazprom's position in the global LNG market.''

''We are confident that this deal will not only help strengthen and diversify Gazprom's LNG portfolio, but also help GM&T build on our success in the Asia-Pacific region, where we have recently closed long and medium-term deals with numerous counterparties in India and North East Asia.''