Japanese trader Mitsui has no plans for Russian LNG exit

Mitsui & Co, one of Japan’s largest trading houses and holder of a stake in Russia’s Sakhalin 2 liquefied natural gas project, said it has no plans to exit the business, according to reports.

The company and fellow Japanese trader Mitsubishi Corporation have a combined 22.5% stake in Gazprom’s Sakhalin-2 LNG, one of the world’s largest LNG projects.

European supermajor Shell also had a 27.5% stake in the operation, which it divested in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Last April, Moscow sanctioned the sale of Shell’s stake to local producer Novatek.

But Mitsui said it has “no plans” to withdraw from its participation in the Sakhalin-2 project.

Reuters reported Toru Matsui, Mitsui’s senior executive managing officer, as telling the annual general meeting that the company last year had consulted with the Japanese government — after Russia invaded Ukraine — and concluded it would not alter its participation. That position has not changed, according to reports.

The Sakhalin 2 LNG project supplies almost 9% of Japan’s LNG imports, the executive said. He added that Mitsui’s operations at the liquefaction project were continuing without issues.

Russia’s Gazprom holds a 50%-plus-one-share stake in the Sakhalin 2 project.