Gazprom may delay Shtokman gas field to 2018

17th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russia's energy giant Gazprom may decide to delay the launch of its troubled Shtokman gas field by two more years because of the United States' rapid development of shale gas, a report said Thursday.

The Barents Sea project has experienced repeated delays caused by the 2008 global financial crisis and the subsequent development of shale gas in the United States, Canada and other Western countries.

Originally due to go online in 2013, the field might now be only commissioned in 2018, Pyotr Sadovnik, the deputy head of Russia's subsoil usage agency, was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

"There are questions being asked about delaying it until 2018, but there has been no final decision," said Sadovnik.

The Russian gas monopoly last year officially delayed the start of Shtokman gas production until 2016, with the date of liquefied natural gas (LNG) production pushed back until 2017.

The Shtokman field holds natural gas reserves estimated at 3.8 trillion cubic metres.

Gazprom initially launched the project in the hopes of expanding its LNG sales to the United States.

© 2011 AFP

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