Russia's Sakhalin invites India and China to tap energy resources

(Reuters) - The local governor of Russia's Pacific island of Sakhalin has invited companies from India and China to tap the region's energy resources following the departure of European and American oil and gas majors.

Russia has been forging closer political and economic ties with Asia since the start of what the Kremlin calls a special military operation in Ukraine last year and the resulting Western sanctions on Moscow.

"We invite companies from China and India to projects of the energy complex. This is a good chance for them to fill the niche vacated by American and European companies in the oil and gas services market," Sakhalin's governor Valery Limarenko said on the government's website.

Shell and ExxonMobil withdrew last year from energy projects in Russia, writing off billions of U.S. dollars.

The island is the location for the Gazprom-led Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and Sakhalin-1 oil project, in which Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft has a 20% stake.

India's ONGC Videsh Limited also already has an equal stake in the project.

Limarenko also said that the Yuzhno-Kirinskoye gas field, which Washington placed under sanctions in 2015 for Moscow's role in Ukraine at that time, is due to start production as planned in 2025.

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