It has been registered and already operates in Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Iran and India, striving now to enter the North American and Latin American markets for potential transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to a number of countries there, including, primarily, the United States.
Cooperation with Mexico, the closest neighbour and the biggest LNG customer, the U.S. Gazprom, was discussed by Gazprom head Alexei Miller with Mexican state-owned company Petroleos Mexicanos as far back as in 2005.
Now its present account for this year’s first six months, the group has said it has registered two trademarks with the Mexican Institute of Industrial property; the Gazprom logo and the company name.
What does Gazprom get in return? First and foremost, prospects of cooperation in the coming 10 years in the area of Russian LNG deliveries to that country, as well as joint exploration and development of Mexican natural gas fields. Plans also cover work on the Mexican Gulf shelf, and in the future, joint construction by Gazprom and the Mexican side of gas-fired electric power generation capacity in that country.
According to experts at the RosBusinessConsulting agency and analysts of Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the interest that the Mexican authorities and people in the natural gas complex show in cooperation with Gazprom is accounted for by the fact that in the past decade Mexico’s own reserves of natural gas dwindled to half of what they had been before, whereas consumption has sharply increased.
At present, Mexico covers the deficit by imports from the United States and a number of other countries, but is eager to develop this area at home.
Valery Nesterov, an analyst at the Troika Dialog Investment Company thinks it is very important for Gazprom to get a foothold in the Mexican market now. “The company is striving to gain a customer base and a business reputation in Mexico, even starting off with trading operations. In the future Mexico may become an important market for Russia’s LNG,” the expert believes.
No doubt, in the future Gazprom operations in American LNG markets may not be restricted to a limited region, expanding from one year to another.