Novatek's Arctic LNG 2 project will need between 15 and 17 Arc7 LNG carriers, according to CEO Leonid Mikhelson.

The Interfax news agency cited him as saying: "We're doing transhipment in Murmansk and Kamchatka, and we now need to decide the issue of transporting LNG to these points.

"Calculations show that we probably need to build 15 to 17 Arc7 gas carriers for Arctic LNG 2."

The vessels are likely to be built at Russia's new Zvezda Shipyard by 2025, he added.

The government will decide "soon" on subsidising the difference between the cost of construction the units at Zvezda compared to current market prices for overseas shipyards, Mikhelson said.

The ships will all be operated by Marine Arctic Transport (MArT), the new joint venture between Novatek, Sovcomflot, Cosco and China's Silk Road Fund.

Novatek initially reserved 14 slots for LNG carriers at Zvezda, but this was upgraded to 15.

Sovcomflot has signed a contract to built the first in the series.