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Gazprom to Announce Shtokman Partners Another Time

Gazprom has postponed the selection of Shtokman partners again

Russia?s natural gas monopoly Gazprom will select partner companies to develop the giant Shtokman gas field for purely economic reasons of optimizing costs and benefits, President Putin?s aide Igor Shuvalov said on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

A shortlist of companies competing for the project was unveiled last September. It includes Norway?s Statoil and Norsk Hydro, France?s Total, and U.S. giants Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

Igor Shuvalov said the Russian energy giant needs a partner that will help it ?develop the field as successfully and beneficially as possible, with the lowest expenses, and which will supply products to the world market most effectively.?

Gazprom has postponed the selection of Shtokman partners again. The event was initially scheduled to take place in spring, then in August, but no partner has been selected so far.

The deposit holds an estimated 3.2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, and 31 million metric tons of gas condensate in the Barents Sea, off Russia?s Arctic coast. Some $12-14 billion will be invested in the project?s first phase, and production will start in 2011.