Gazprom delays Shtokman talks, again
Chief executive Alexei Miller once again pushes back investment decision on the Barents Sea Shtokman field.
“At the present time we are in final consultations on the configuration and conditions of the Shtokman project, which we expect to conclude by the beginning of fall,” Miller told Interfax on Friday.
Two weeks ago, the same Miller told reporters that a new Shtokman agreement could be signed before summer vacation, as reported by BarentsObserver. The current agreement with French Total and Norwegian Statoil expired on July 1st.
A key question is the tax regime for both the investments and sale of natural gas from Shtokman. Russia’s now-President, then-Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin outlined in April a favorable tax regime for offshore drilling in the Arctic, including Shtokman.
Statoil has long stressed that project development costs need to be reduced and that tax breaks must be introduced. The development costs for the project's first phase have reportedly grown to about $30 billion, up from the originally planned $20 billion.