Monday, May 15, 2006
Total Still Hopeful on Shtokman
May 16, 2006 Reuters - PARIS - Total is still hoping to become one of the two or three companies that will develop the Shtokman gas field in the Barents Sea, the French firm's chief executive told a French newspaper. "Total is not out of the game," Thierry Desmarest said in an interview published in Les Echos on Monday, shrugging off any speculation of disagreements between Total and the Russian authorities. "Unlike what has been written here or there, negotiations are still ongoing and going well with Gazprom, which will soon choose two or three companies from a shortlist, which we are part of," Desmarest said, adding though that the project was not a "walk in the park," as it was technologically challenging. Gazprom has shortlisted five bidders -- Total, Norway's Statoil and Norsk Hydro and U.S. firms ConocoPhillips and Chevron.