Shell in talks with Chinese firms to sell stake in Russian gas project

A Japanese-made liquefied natural gas carrier is anchored near an LNG plant on Sakhalin island near the town of Korsakov, some 50 kilometers from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Feb. 18, 2009.

Energy giant Shell is in talks with some Chinese companies to sell its stake in a major Russian gas project amid sanctions imposed on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, The Telegraph reported on Thursday.

The London-listed company is in joint talks with Chinese state-run oil companies CNOOC Ltd., CNPC and Sinopec over its 27.5% holding in the Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas venture, the British newspaper said.

Sakhalin-2 is controlled and operated by Russian gas giant Gazprom. Other stakeholders in the project include Japan’s Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp.

The discussions with the Chinese firms include the potential sale of Shell’s stake to one, two or all three of the companies, the newspaper said, adding that Shell is to be open to potential buyers outside China.

Shell declined to comment on the report, while Sinopec, CNOOC and CNPC did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Shell in February said it would exit all its Russian operations, including the Sakhalin-2 LNG plant, after sanctions tightened on Moscow.

The company earlier this month said it would write down up to $5 billion following its decision to exit Russia.