Shtokman Gas Field Decision 3 Years Away

MOSCOW - Formulating a new technical concept for developing the Shtokman natural gas field in Russia's Arctic will take at least three years, Russia's deputy energy minister said Thursday, according to the Interfax news agency. 

"For the technical concept, the project will need more than three years," Kirrill Molodtsov is quoted as saying. 

Last year, Russia's state-run gas company OAO Gazprom shelved attempts to develop the gas field, which is estimated to hold almost 4 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, as technical studies indicated the project wasn't financially viable. 

Gazprom teamed up with French oil company Total SA and Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA to develop the field, with Gazprom holding 51% of the partnership, Total 25% and Statoil 24%. 

Launched in the 1990s, Shtokman has been repeatedly delayed because of disagreements between the partners over investment terms and because of the extreme Arctic weather. The project has also become less attractive because the boom in the shale gas industry in the U.S. has disrupted the natural gas market, bringing prices down.



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