Gazprom Marketing & Trading USA Inc., a subsidiary of Russian natural gas producer OAO Gazprom, has signed a letter of intent outlining terms under which it will become an equity partner in the Rabaska liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and contract for all of the terminal’s capacity.

Canada’s Gaz Metro LP and Enbridge Inc., along with France’s Gaz de France, are spearheading the project (see Daily GPI, July 10, 2007). The terminal is proposed to be built on the St. Lawrence River across from Quebec City

Using the Rabaska terminal, Gazprom expects to import Russian LNG supplied from the Shtokman liquefaction project currently under development in the Barents Sea by OAO Gazprom. Initial production from Shtokman is scheduled to begin in 2014. Construction of the Rabaska terminal has been pushed back to begin in 2010 and completion would be timed to meet the anticipated first LNG deliveries from Shtokman in 2014, the companies said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Definitive agreements are expected to be executed before the end of the year.

Provincial authorities gave their approval to the Rabaska terminal last year (see Daily GPI, Oct. 26, 2007). The C$840 million project would be built at the deepwater port in Levis to handle LNG tankers and include a port jetty, two reservoirs and a regasification facility. Rabaska also would construct a 42-kilometer (26-mile) pipeline to the TransQuebec & Maritimes system. Between that time and the Gazprom announcement, Enbridge had left the construction calendar open while it sought to line up long-term supply for the terminal (see Daily GPI, Dec. 26, 2007).

Earlier this year the future of the Gros Cacouna LNG terminal in Quebec was cast into doubt when OAO Gazprom decided to cancel what would have been that terminal’s key supply source (see Daily GPI, Feb. 8). The C$1 billion Gros Cacouna terminal, a project of Petro-Canada and TransCanada Corp., was to have been supplied by a proposed $3.5 billion liquefaction plant on Russia’s Baltic coast. Gazprom said that it was dropping the liquefaction project in favor of other, more competitive projects in the region.

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