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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

'Politics will not derail Shtokman'

28 August, 2008 - Upstream OnLine - Strained politicial and military relations between Moscow and the West will not derail Russian gas giant Gazprom's Shtokman project in the Arctic, Yuri Komarov, the head of Shtokman Development said. Ties between Moscow and Nato members, including Norway and France whose StatoilHydro and Total are minority partners in Shtokman, have hit post-Cold War lows after Russia's military foray into Georgia this month. "Of course we would like to have quiet politics... (but) politics will not stop this project," Komarov told Reuters. "It's more a question whether we can do this complex project -- and I am certain we can," he said on the sidelines of the ONS conference. Komarov earlier told the conference that Shtokman would balance the interests of Kremlin-controlled Gazprom and its foreign partners, which are expected to provide much of the technology for the complex Barents Sea field development. Gazprom has a 51% stake in Shtokman development, with Total and StatoilHydro holding the remainder. Gazprom, StatoilHydro and Total are due to make a final investment decision on Shtokman in the second half of next year. Komarov said the main deals with Shtokman contractors should be signed in late 2009 or early 2010. The Shtokman field holds an estimated 3.8 trillion cubic metres of gas, enough to meet global demand for a year. The first phase of the project is seen costing at least $15 billion. To provide extra electricity for the onshore part of the project near Murmansk in northwest Russia, a gas-fired power plant will be built, Komarov told Reuters.

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