The last major offshore gas well is being completed at the Lunskoye platform in Russia’s sub-Arctic Sea of Okhotsk, preparing the way for full production capacity of LNG at Sakhalin II.

As one of the world’s largest integrated oil & gas projects, production at Sakhalin II’s first LNG unit commenced in March 2009.

This was achieved with a flawless start-up programme resulting in no unplanned production downtime in the first five weeks of operations. Completion of the final gas well is a vital step towards starting operations at its second LNG unit, with full capacity of 9.6 million tonnes per year expected to be reached in 2010.

Sakhalin II is regarded as one of the most challenging engineering feats ever achieved, operating amid some of the world’s harshest conditions in Russia’s far east - an area prone to earthquakes.

The project on Sakhalin Island exports LNG and oil to the fast-growing energy markets in the Asia-Pacific region and the west coast of North America. The project will meet nearly 8% of Japan’s gas needs and 5% of South Korea’s requirements.

The first Sakhalin II LNG cargo delivered arrived in Japan’s Tokyo Bay in April 2009, the first time Russia has exported gas from its eastern borders and the first time it has supplied gas to Japan.