At Shtokman, it is all about costs
We are working intensively to bring down the costs of the Shtokman project, a representative of Statoil says, adding that the project final investment decision can not be expected before the end of this year.
“With Shtokman, costs and only costs have always been the problem," Statoil's Vice-President Eldar Sætre said in an interview.
"We are working intensively with our partners to improve the project, take the costs down, put together the financial framework," Sætre told the Wall Street Journal. "Our intention is to stay in the project," he maintained.
As previously reported, Russian authorities are putting increasing pressure on the Shtokman partners to reach a final investment decision. In the recent meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Statoil CEO Helge Lund, Putin strongly signalled that he expected a decision to be ready by the Sankt Petersburg Economic Forum, due later this month.
Also Shtokman partner Total stresses its continued interest in the project. Chairman and Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie on last Thursday insisted that Total remains committed to the project and that the priority now was to clinch soon a memorandum of understanding.
At the same time, the French oilman openly expressed irritation with the way Gazprom currently handles its project partners. Commenting on Gazprom’s signals about an upcoming change in the project consortium, de Margerie maintained that the partner issue had not been settled in the joint partnership structure.
"Quite honestly, this isn't all quite clear, this was never mentioned to me by [Aleksandr] Medvedev, [or] Mr. Miller...It would be good to talk to each other directly and not through the media," Mr. de Margerie said in the interview, on the sidelines of the World Gas Conference.