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Gazprom continues talks on $20 bln Arctic project

OAO Gazprom, the world's largest natural-gas company, told potential partners for its $20 billion Shtokman project in the Arctic that consultations on their proposals will continue. “All the potential partners were sent a letter in which Gazprom advised them that the process continues,” Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said today in a phone interview in Moscow. “No decisions have been made.” Gazprom has said it will pick as many as three foreign partners for Shtokman from five companies: Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips of the US, France's Total SA and Norway's Statoil ASA and Norsk Hydro ASA. Shtokman may hold as much as 4.4 trillion cubic meters of gas and is Gazprom's first effort to produce liquefied natural gas for shipment to the US “Chevron confirms that it has been invited to continue discussions,” spokeswoman Margaret Cooper said by phone from Houston. “Chevron has submitted what we consider to be an attractive and competitive tender.” Statoil received the letter too, said Ola Morten Aanestad, a Statoil spokesman. “Hopefully this decision will be made this year but we don't know when or who will be picked,” said Tore Torvund, Norsk Hydro's head of oil and energy, at a seminar in Oslo. (Bloomberg)