* Output at Kirinsky field to start 2011/12
* Start originally planned for 2014
* Gazprom has signed agreement to supply China's CNPC
(Adds quotes, background)
MURMANSK, Russia, Oct 16 Russia's Gazprom
(GAZP.MM), plans to start production at the Sakhalin-3 project's
Kirinsky field in 2011 or 2012, two years earlier than planned,
as it seeks to fill its pipeline to the Pacific port
"It had been planned that development of Kirinsky will start
in 2014. We think to begin production there at the end of 2011
or at the beginning of 2012," the head of Gazprom's subsidiary
that oversees offshore projects, Alexander Mandel, told
reporters on Friday.
The Kirinsky field is a part of the Sakhalin-3 offshore
project on Russia's Pacific island of the same name. Its gas
reserves are estimated at 75.4 billion cubic metres.
Gazprom, the world's biggest gas producer, has been slow in
entering projects on Sakhalin, where its rival, state-run
Rosneft (ROSN.MM), Russia's largest oil firm, has long been the
The situation changed last year, when Gazprom bought control
in the giant Sakhalin-2 oil and liquefied natural gas project
from Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L). It said it would aim to gain
more reserves in the region.
This week, Gazprom (GAZP.MM) signed a preliminary agreement
to supply China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) with about 70
billion cubic metres of gas. [ID:nPEK311780]
Gazprom is still in talks with ExxonMobil Corp (XOM.N),
operator of Sakhalin-1 project, as it needs gas to fill the
major trunk pipeline that links offshore gas fields of Sakhalin
with the port of Vladivostok.
(Reporting by Denis Pinchuk, writing by Vladimir Soldatkin,
editing by Anthony Barker)