Shell Signals Interest In Russia's Shtokman Project

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is open to doing more liquefied natural gas projects in Russia, including joining the OAO Gazprom-led Shtokman development in the country's Arctic region, Chief Executive Peter Voser said Thursday.

"We are interested in doing more gas projects in Russia," said Mr. Voser. "We are in talks with various players in the country, including Gazprom."

On whether it plans to join Shtokman specifically, Mr. Voser was more circumspect but expressly didn't rule it out. "We have a good relationship with Gazprom," added Mr. Voser, referring to Shell's partnership with the Russian state-owned firm in the 9.6-million-ton-a-year Sakhalin-2 LNG plant on Sakhalin Island, off the coast of Russia's Far East.

"Discussions are ongoing. I can't comment on any more details."

Russian media reports have suggested Shell may replace Norway's Statoil ASA in developing the Shtokman field, a technically challenging but potentially vast underwater natural gas field. According to Gazprom's estimates, the field holds some 3.8 trillion cubic meters of gas.

In addition to Gazprom and Statoil, which holds a 24% interest in the project, France's Total SA is also a partner with a 25% share.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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