(EnergyAsia, February 26 2014, Wednesday) — Two of Europe’s largest energy firms, Gazprom and Shell, have agreed to add a third train to their jointly owned liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on Russia’s Sakhalin Island.

Meeting at the Winter Olympics city of Sochi, Russia’s Gazprom chairman Alexei Miller and Anglo Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Buerden signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to prepare front-end engineering and design documents for the construction of the third train at the Sakhalin II plant.

The LNG plant, Russia’s first, is operated by Sakhalin Energy, whose shareholders are Gazprom (50% plus one share), Shell (27.5% minus one share), Mitsui & Co. (12.5%) and Mitsubishi Corp (10%).

Sakhalin Energy started production in early 2009 and raised its capacity to 9.6 million tonnes/year in 2010.

“The global LNG market is booming, primarily in Asian countries,” said Mr Miller.

“We welcome the sequential approach of our strategic partner Gazprom to expanding the LNG plant in the Prigorodnoye settlement. The third train will help confirm the status of the Sakhalin II project as a reliable energy supplier to the Asia-Pacific region,” said Mr van Beurden.