Klebanov: Norwegian duo likely on Shtokman

August 19, 2005, 20:00 CEST

Russian presidential representative Ilja Klebanov hopes for a clarification of partners on the enormous Shtokman gas field in the Barents Sea within the next few months, and at least by the end of the year. "I believe both Statoil and Hydro will participate," Klebanov said during a Friday afternoon visit to Hydro in Oslo.

Klebanov was optimistic towards both Statoil and Hydro during the visit. He expressed concern about the time frame of the gas field development project.

"Both Hydro and Gazprom have similar views on the scope and how long it will take to develop the Shtokman field," Klebanov said after meetings with Tore Torvund, head of Hydro Oil & Energy.

Little time

The USA in particular is busy securing future gas deliveries and Gazprom wants to enter the American gas market. The USA will already be in need of the gas by early 2010.

"We have little time to succeed in the USA," said Klebanov. The Russian presidential representative believes both Statoil and Hydro will be invited to participate on the Shtokman gas field due to the project's enormous scale.

"If we are to develop Shtokman in time, the authorities, Gazprom and field partners must live up to their deadlines," Torvund pointed out.

Ormen Lange experiences

Hydro wants to use the same technology applied to its giant Ormen Lange gas field off the coast of northwest Norway.

"Shtokman presents huge technological challenges, but also huge opportunities," said Torvund.

Klebanov would not be more specific regarding Statoil and Hydro's dual role on Shtokman and said it is up to Gazprom and the two Norwegian companies themselves.