Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco has offered to purchase a stake in Russian gas producer Novatek’s liquefied natural gas project Arctic LNG 2, media reports said. The LNG plant is located near the Gydan Peninsula.

The last leg of investment decisions by Aramco in Arctic LNG 2 project is expected to be made in the second half of the year. However, its first liquefaction train is planned to start up in 2023.

Novatek’s CEO Leonid Mikhelson said that the company is planning to sell up to 30 percent stake in its latest Artic project ‘if the terms are favourable’.

Besides Aramco’s interest in Arctic LNG 2 project, it is also considering other projects in Russia including oil giant Rosneft and natural gas giant Gazprom, in addition to a Russina petrochemical company Sibur.

For a long time, Aramco was rumoured to be interested in buying a stake in Novatek’s Arctic LNG 2 project. Media reports said that the company was interested in investing up to $5 billion in the Arctic LNG 2 project. The project is Novatek’s second largest project to produce LNG in the Arctic and export it through the Northern Sea Route.

It seems that Aramco has been interested in petrochemicals ‘but the interest has to be from both sides. So we will wait for Sibur and its shareholders to express their interest in future cooperation’, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister and chairman at Aramco Khalid al-Falih told TASS.

According to media reports, Russia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia took part in meetings to discuss investments worth tens of thousands of US dollars in several energy projects.

Novatek is Russia’s largest privately-owned natural gas company.