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Shtokman decisions in the pipeline

Photo: Gazprom.ru

In their upcoming shareholders committee meeting, the partners in the Shtokman Development AG will have to agree on ways to meet the rapidly changing situation in the world gas market and overcome strongly diverging views on field development.

As reported by BarentsObserver, the major new changes in the world gas market now seriously challenge prospects for the Shtokman developers Gazprom, Total and Statoil.

Read more: Gazprom might abandon Shtokman

In an upcoming shareholders meeting due 5 February, the Shtokman partners are expected to agree on ways to face the new challenges. As reported by newspaper Vremya Novostey, the shareholders are in the meeting likely to decide to further postpone a long announced final investment decision. That decision was originally to be made already in the early part of 2010. Now, a decision on the issue will hardly be made before late 2010 at earliest.

Several analysts believe the fate of the Shtokman project already has been sealed and that there will not be any grand development of the Barents Sea gas field at all. However, too much prestige and money might already have been invested in the project to lay it dead. Gazprom has for several years had the project as its top investment project, and Shtokman gas will constitute a key part of one of the company’s other big projects – the Nord Stream pipeline.

Read more: - Shtokman is dead, says PetroArctic boss

As a matter of fact, Gazprom actively continues planning of the project. The company this week announced that the site for the project LNG terminal port has been decided. The port will be built in the Orlovka Bay, northeast of the project hub of Teriberka, Newsru.com reports. In addition, field license holder and 100-percent Gazprom subsidiary Gazprom Dobycha Shelf is fully engaged in project planning.

At the same time, the Shtokman partners will not only need to agree on the fate of the project. They will also have to overcome serious diverging views on project development solutions. As reported by Vremya Novostey, the Shtokman Development AG partners want the extracted gas to be transported to land for reprocessing, while Gazprom Dobycha Shelf wants the gas to be processed at a floating installation at the extraction site.