Statoil wants back into Shtokman

Could Shtokman become a reality again? Statoil has not completely given up the project.

The best alternative according to Statoil is to develop the field using a floating LNG plant, rejecting the planned pipeline to Teriberka outside Murmansk .


 Statoil gave up its shares in the gigantic Shtokman gas field in the Barents Sea in 2012. Now the company considers re-entering the project, provided the technical solution is changed.

Statoil will only re-enter the project if conditions for offshore projects and foreign companies are improved, press spokesman Bård Glad Pedersen says to Teknisk Ukeblad. He confirms that Statoil does not want a solution with both pipelines and onshore LNG production. “We want to have LNG production alone on Shtokman. This will lower investment costs and have synergistic effects for later development stages that are to be based on LNG”, he says.

With an unstable European gas marked a gigantic pipeline system to the continent is something Statoil does not want to pursue. Not only will the construction itself be expensive, but the marked can become flooded with gas, making already concluded export contracts less valuable.

Gazprom already in 1996 announced plans to build a large, floating LNG plant on Shtokman, but the plans were dismissed as there are huge technical challenges connected to building a floating LNG plant (FLNG).

The plan is to build a complete LNG plant like the one on Melkøya outside Hammerfest, Norway – only larger – and place it over the field. Here the gas will be extracted, processed, cooled down to liquid form and loaded on LNG tankers.

There are no operational FLNG vessels in the world today. Shell has started construction of “Prelude FLNG” – the world’s largest floating production facility, which is to be used outside Australia. The vessel will be 488 meters long and replace more than six times more water than the world’s largest air craft carrier.

There are large technical challenges connected to FLNG technology, especially in harsh climatic regions like the Barents Sea, where high waves and heavy icing are only a few of the obstacles for safe production.