Russia’s natural gas production in 2013 increased by two percent on the previous year to reach 668 billion cubic meters, Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak said on Thursday at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

“Gas production went up by 13 billion cubic meters to amount 668 billion cubic meters. The growth was two percent on 2012,” he said, adding that gas exports had increased by ten percent to reach 260 billion cubic meters.

The president asked the minister about expected effects of the liberalization of the liquefied gas market. Novak said it was “one of the key decisions of 2013 that was taken based on the analysis of the global gas market.”

“We think this decision will give an impetus to more investments in the processing sector and will give us a possibility to win more niches in the Asia Pacific region,” Novak said.

He cited global statistics, demonstrating that the share of liquefied natural gas on the world gas market had increased in the recent years from 18 to 32 percent. “We supply about 11 million tonnes from the Sakhalin-2 project and by 2018-2020 the figure might go up 30-35 million tonnes,” he noted. “We thinks that consumption of liquefied natural gas will be increasing in accelerated pace.”

The president noted that it was necessary to coordinate investments in the LNG infrastructure from private companies and from budgetary sources. The minister said it was among the key tasks of his ministry for 2014.