Yamal LNG caught more than one expert by surprise. Is it possible to build and operate an LNG plant where it is? Sure it is. Does it make economic sense? Well thats a big question mark. We don’t know what it costs to get the gas out of the ground. 10 years ago Yamal was described as being like on another planet and upstream costs would be the highest in the world – now nobody talks about it anymore. Using ice breaking LNG tankers and then reloading always carried a price tag – not a small one. Now, does not seem to matter. I admit that I was one of those that doubted that this will come together, and I was wrong. But that does not make the question marks go away.
Almost 1,500 miles from Moscow, the tiny port of Sabetta nestles in a desolate Russian Arctic peninsula. A former outpost for Soviet geologists, it’s now the site of Russia’s most ambitious liquefied natural gas project, operated by a company that only entered the market just over a year ago.