Today a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed setting out the basis for their future cooperation in the development of Gazprom’s substantial helium reserves in Eastern Siberia.

Alexander Medvedev, deputy Chairman of the Management Committee of Gazprom JSC and Director General of Gazprom export LLC, and Phil Kornbluth, Executive Vice President, International & Helium for MATHESON, a member of the Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) group were involved in signing the MOU.

Pursuant to the terms of the MOU, MATHESON intends to act as a strategic partner to Gazprom, not only as an off-taker of significant volumes of helium from the projects, but also as a provider of helium industry knowledge and expertise. The parties have agreed to explore ways in which they may establish long term cooperation in areas such as marketing and logistics, helium production and technology.

MATHESON’s parent company, Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation, is the leading industrial gases company in Japan and the largest supplier of helium to the Japanese market, a market ideally situated for supply from the Russian Far East.

“The new Helium project in the East Siberia calls for advanced engineering, marketing and logistics solutions that will allow the rational use of this strategic resource and its effective distribution in the global markets. We hope that the partnership with MATHESON will allow us to implement our strategic goals,” said Alexander Medvedev.

According to Kornbluth, “Matheson and Taiyo Nippon Sanso are excited about the prospects of working with Gazprom to commercialize their Eastern Siberian helium reserves. Gazprom’s plant should be well positioned to supply China, Japan, other Asian markets and, in time, the US. We look forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship with Gazprom Group.”

On October 30th, Gazprom had adopted the final investment decision on pre-development of the Chayandinskoye field being of top priority for the Yakutia gas production center. Gazprom will build up a gas pipeline from Yakutia to Vladivostok via Khabarovsk in order to transport gas produced from the Chayandinskoye field, thus triggering large-scale gas processing development in Eastern Russia. A new helium production facility in the vicinity of Blagoveshensk is tentatively scheduled to commence production of liquid helium around 2018, commensurate with the extraction of natural gas from the new field.