Shtokman Project May Move Forward Without LNG

Citing documents from field operator Shtokman Development AG, Prime-Tass news agency reported Thursday that the massive Shtokman gas condensate field may be developed without liquefied natural gas.

According to the report, the operator has set the deadline for an investment decision on LNG production at December 2011. If a decision is not reached by this date, the field's gas will be transported through pipeline and shipped to European markets.

Located in the harsh, arctic waters of the Barents Sea, Shtokman contains an estimated 3.8 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and 37 million tons of gas condensate, making it one of the largest offshore deposits ever discovered.

Russian oil giant Gazprom holds a 51% working interest in the offshore development, with partners Total and Statoil holding the remaining 25% and 24% stakes, respectively.