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Gazprom freezes Western firms out of Shtokman project
Russian gas behemoth Gazprom said it will develop the giant Shtokman natural gas field in the Barents Sea on its own, without the help and any partial ownership of Western companies, be they European or American. Gazprom also announced that Shtokman will no longer be an LNG project. Instead, the gas will be produced and transported by pipeline directly to European markets. The primary reason that it will develop the 131-Tcf field on its own, said Gazprom, is that no acceptable asset-swap offers were received from potential foreign partners. A revised scheme specifies that Shtokman's production will be fed into the planned North European Gas Pipeline, a.k.a. Nord Stream, which will tie-in Shtokman and some other West Siberian fields to Germany via the Baltic Sea link. Since Gazprom lacks Arctic offshore field development experience, it is still unclear whether it will enlist technical assistance from Norway's Statoil and/or Norsk Hydro.
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