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Thursday, February 05, 2009

StatoilHydro joins punter line for Yamal

02-05-2009 - Upstream OnLine - Norway's StatoilHydro, a partner in Russia's giant Shtokman gas field, joined an expanding list of western energy majors today when it said it was looking at the Russian region of Arctic Yamal. "We are looking for possibilities on the Arctic offshore shelf. And this includes Yamal," the company's head in Russia Bengt Lie Hansen told reporters on the sidelines of the Energy Exchange conference in Moscow. Russia counts on Yamal - which needs investments of up to $60 billion and should produce 250 billion cubic metres of gas per year by 2020 - for the bulk of its gas supply to Europe in decades to come. Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom is currently the sole operator in Yamal, a northwestern region containing a large, frozen Arctic peninsula. The world's largest gas company has said it is considering US majors ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips and Shell for liquefied natural gas projects in the region. There has previously been no mention of StatoilHydro. Gazprom, which holds a 51% stake in Shtokman, has said it chose StatoilHydro, owner of a 24% stake, as the Nordic company has technical expertise in dealing with harsh weather and year-long ice. StatoilHydro has a 24% stake in the ambitious Shtokman gas project in the stormy Barents Sea, which has estimated reserves of 3.8 trillion cubic metres of gas, making it one of the world's biggest gas fields. France's Total has a 25% stake. The group needs $15 billion to $20 billion to start the first phase, planned for 2013-2014.

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