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Russia to Start Shtokman Gas Field Development 2011

Source: Reuters 4/17/2010, Location: Asia

Russia plans to start development of the giant Arctic Shtokman gas field in spring 2011, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

"Nobody has cancelled the project. The investment decision will be made next year in spring and the work will start immediately afterwards," Putin told Murmansk regional governor Dmitry Dmitrienko.

Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom had agreed with partners Total and Statoil to delay pipeline gas production from Shtokman to 2016 instead of 2013.

Shtokman, located in the stormy Barents Sea and one of the world's largest gas fields, is expected to require $15 billion of investment in its first phase alone.

The field was discovered by the Soviet Union in 1988 and its start-up has been repeatedly delayed due to problems with financing. If the field is put on stream in 2016, it will come 16 years later than originally planned.

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