In Paris, Alexander Medvedev, deputy Chairman of the Management Committee of Gazprom JSC and General Director of Gazprom export LLC, and Tom Blades, Member of the Executive Board of Linde AG, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The MOU stipulates cooperation in implementing new helium production projects planned by Gazprom Group concurrently with the development of the Eastern Siberia gas fields.

Pursuant to the Memorandum, Linde intends to act as a strategic buyer of significant volumes of helium from the new production facility in the town of Belogorsk in the vicinity of the city of Blagoveshensk. The plant is due to be commissioned in 2018 in parallel with the start of the flow of natural gas extracted from the Chayandinskoye field along the new gas transportation route “Yakutia – Khabarovsk – Vladivostok”. The parties also agreed to explore other opportunities of a more profound cooperation within the framework of new helium production projects in the Russian Far East.

The Chayandinskoye field, together with other resources owned by Gazprom in the East Siberian region, forms one of the largest reservoirs of helium in the world. By using the appropriate facilities the helium production levels will be set to enable balancing of world supplies and demand for decades. The volume of helium produced by Gazprom will replace the volumes produced by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) system for decades to come, as the BLM system depletes.

“As global demand for helium continues to increase, this cooperation agreement will allow Gazprom to address the market request. It will also contribute to deliver the best possible value from East Siberian potential by using the optimal technologies,” Alexander Medvedev said.

“Linde is interested in a long-term cooperative agreement with Gazprom Export to purchase significant volumes of helium produced from this major project, and as a potential partner of Gazprom Group in helium production, marketing, logistics and other technical areas associated with helium,” Tom Blades said.