Posted by: russiaoilandgas | July 25, 2007

Shtokman Watchers Take note: Statoil Demonstrates Arctic Capability

Statoil Snohvit Gazprom ShtokmanThe intrigue surrounding the Barents Sea Shtokman project just keeps rumbling on.  News that Gazprom awarded a 25% stake in the LNG project to French company Total was met by widespread surprise – not least because it was assumed Norwegian company Statoil was the favorite to land partnership status in the Shtokman project by virtue of its unique Arctic and deep water drilling experience.  As if to drive home the point, Statoil has reported it has successfully completed the drilling of an appraisal well in another Barents field, Snøhvit.

Statoil’s Polar Pioneer performed another successful operation, completing its task of identifying oil and gas column thickness and reservoir properties without incident or accidental discharge.

Snohvit Map StatilStatoil’s performance in Arctic conditions will not be lost on those who are paying keen attention to the unfolding Shtokman situation.  While Total is cash rich and have experience in LNG, they can not match Statoil’s proven track record in Arctic deep water conditions. 

Furthermore, when Shtokman finally comes on-stream, the most likely destination for the LNG it produces will be the US, and Statoil has LNG unloading capacity at Cove Point on the US East Coast.

Statoil make such a common sense partner for Gazprom in Shtokman that it is not difficult to see why there was so much shock at its decision to award a 25% share to Total.  But nothing the Norwegian firm can bring to the table has gone away, and the Shtokman saga still has a long way to go.  That’s why we at Oil and Gas Eurasia expect Statoil to be involved in some capacity.  Watch this space.

Story From Oil & Gas Eurasia Online. ( http://www.oilandgaseurasia.com/news/p/0/news/835 )

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