First Shtokman LNG, then Yamal

The gas-rich and vulnerable Yamal Peninsula is top priority in the Russian petroleum industry. Photo:

Russia’s two major gas producers, Gazprom and Novatek, agree to step up cooperation in the gas-rich Yamal Peninsula. The Yamal LNG will come, but only after the launch of the Shtokman project, the companies say.


A memorandum, which outlines a broad cooperation in Yamal, was yesterday announced by both companies. The agreement includes the establishment of joint ventures, which will engage in the development of LNG at Yamal, as well as the nearby Gydan Peninsula, press releases from the companies inform.

In Yamal, the joint venture will be dominated by Gazprom, which will have a 75 percent stake, while Novatek will have to do with 25 percent. In Gydan, the joint company will be established on a 50-50 percent basis. The Yamal-based company will work with the three Tambey fields – the North Tambey, West Tambey and South Tambey, as well as the nearby Tassiiskoye field. The fields, which are located in the northern part of the peninsula, together have a total of more than 1,5 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves.

Novatek is from before engaged in the planning of the Yamal LNG based on the resources of its South Tambey field. The French company Total has a 20 percent stake in the project. Novatek has for some time been looking for a third partner for this project, newspaper Vedomosti reports.

The announcement from Gazprom and Novatek illustrate a new major emphasis on LNG production in the Russian north. The news about the new Yamal partnership comes only a week after Gazprom confirmed that it is planning a total revamp of the Shtokman development plan.

Talking to journalists, Gazprom Deputy Board Director Aleksandr Medvedev confirmed that the partners in the Shtokman Development AG – Gazprom, Total and Statoil, are likely to develop a new business model for the huge gas project in the Barents Sea, which includes an exclusive focus on LNG.  “An alternative solution with only LNG production is being considered, this is one of the possible solutions”, he said, RIA Novosti reports.

The new Shtokman plans are believed to result in new postponements in the grand project in the Barents Sea. The timeline for the project progress is now unclear.