LNG plant in giant Arctic field

The world’s biggest gas company, Russia’s Gazprom has ruled in favour of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant for the huge Shtokman field in the Arctic Barents Sea. Gazprom initially wanted to build a pipeline from Shtokman to the Russian coast and on to Europe. The field is one of the world’s biggest with reserves of 3.2 trillion cubic metres of gas, lying 550 km away from the shore. Shtokman, Gazprom’s biggest ever offshore gas field, will also become the company’s first LNG project. “Gas output should amount to about 69 billion cubic metres of gas from 2018. Shtokman is seen as a source of prospective LNG shipments to the United States and other countries,” the company said in a statement. The project costs USD 10–30 billion and Gazprom, which supplies Europe with one quarter of its gas needs, has previously said it wanted a U.S. partner for it. It said talks with ConocoPhilips were under way. Norway’s energy group Statoil (STL.OL) has expressed interest in building an on-shore LNG plant with Gazprom to ship liquified gas to European and US markets. Gazprom has also singled out for development an area in the Obskaya bay in the Arctic Kara Sea with proven resources in excess of 800 bcm. The company is due to start work on Obskaya from 2009–2010 and plans to produce 82 bcm a year by 2021.

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