Thursday, 7 June 2012

Putin´s and Schröder´s Nord Stream will not get any gas from the Shtokman field

Vladimir Putin´s and former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder´s pet project, the Nord Stream gas pipeline, will be the big loser after Russian energy giant Gazprom´s apparent decision to make the arctic Shtokman development 100% LNG based: 

"Our decision to switch to 100 percent LNG is a reflection of the supply-demand balance in Europe," Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of the company's management committee, told reporters at a global gas conference in Kuala Lumpur.

The Shtokman development, which is a partnership between the Russian gas giant, Norway's Statoil and France's Total , has repeatedly been delayed because of rising costs, decreasing demand and, above all, the impact of the US shale gas boom. 

 French Total owns 25%, Norway´s Statoil 24% and Russia´s Gazprom has the decisive majority stake 51% of Shtokman, one of the world's largest gas fields with reserves of 3.7 trillion cubic meters located offshore in the Barents Sea.
According to earlier plans Gazprom intended to sell gas from the Shtokman field via the Nord Stream pipeline, which would have required the construction of a new pipeline connecting the Kola peninsula with the the Nord Stream pipeline. The fact that this connecting pipeline will not be built could seriously impact the long term profitability of Nord Stream. 
Whether Statoil and Total will remain as partners in the "new" Shtokman LNG project is not clear. Last month Gazprom´s chief executive said that the company is seeking new partners for the revamped Shtokman project. A couple of days ago a Statoil representative told reporters in Baku that the Norwegian energy company "has no plans to leave Shtokman". 
What we see here, is the impact of the gamechanging US led shale gas revolution. And this is just the beginning ....

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