"Shtokman partners will meet all deadlines"

Helge Lund meets with Sergei Shmatko (Photo:

CEO of Statoil Helge Lund yesterday met with Gazprom’s Aleksei Miller and the Russian Ministry of Energy to discuss the development of the Shtokman project.


-The shareholders of the Shtokman Development AG are taking all necessary measures for the Shtokman project to proceed in line with settled schedules, Mr. Lund and Mr. Miller underlined in their meeting, a press release from Gazprom reads.

The Russian-Norwegian meeting in the Gazprom headquarters had full focus on the Shtokman project and first of all included discussions on preparations for the first project development phase. The Norwegian delegation included of the company’s leaders, among them Vice-Presidents Peter Mellbye and Torgeir Kydland and Statoil Russia leader Jan Helge Skogen.

The Norwegian delegation also met with the Russian Ministry of Energy and its leader Sergei Shmatko, a ministry press release confirms.

The Russian-Norwegian meetings come only two days after the Gazprom leadership held a meeting on the project with several of its involved subsidiaries, including the Shtokman Development AG. The meeting was devoted to a number of aspects with the complex project, among them the localization of coastal infrastructure.

Preparations for the adoption of a final investment decision for the project’s first phase are proceeding in line with the time schedule”, a press release from the company states. According to the revised time schedule approved in February 2010, the final investment decision for the pipeline part of the project is to be adopted in March 2011, while a decision on the project’s LNG part will be taken by the end of the same year.

In that meeting, Gazprom leader Miller stressed that ” the development of the Shtokman project is one of the strategical priority tasks for Gazprom” and that ”I am confident that the work of our joint company Shtokman Development AG and the efforts of its new director Aleksei Zagovorski […] will in the most efficient way develop the first phase of this huge project”, the company’s press service informs.

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The apparently successful preparations for the Shtokman project continue amid major skepticism from analysts, who believe that the quick changes in the international gas markets are making new expensive offshore projects superfluous and not profitable. Only over the last two year, demand on natural gas has dropped significantly and prices subsequently plummeted.

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The Shtokman partners Gazprom, Total and Statoil meanwhile continue their ambitious Shtokman plans. The project hub of Teriberka is being prepared for construction works and two of the project jack-up rigs currently under construction in Vyborg is proceeding. According to Gazprom, the rigs, the “Polar Star” and the “Northern Lights” are to be completed respectively in Q3 2010 and Q1 2011.