OAO Gazprom renewed talks with ConocoPhillips about joining Gazprom's $20 bln Shtokman gas project, Russia's largest untapped deposit.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller met ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva in Moscow yesterday to discuss the project, the Russian company said in an e-mailed statement. „ConocoPhillips confirmed its interest in continuing talks, taking into account the new conditions for cooperation, and intends to make proposals to Gazprom in the near future,” Gazprom said in the statement. Gazprom scrapped plans last year to give international companies a share in Shtokman's 3.7 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves as the Kremlin strengthened control of the country's natural resources. Gazprom asked partners to swap assets as well as provide technical expertise to develop the field, which lies 500 kilometers (300 miles) from shore under the Barents Sea. ConocoPhillips, Chevron Corp., Norsk Hydro ASA, Statoil ASA and Total SA, were originally being considered for the project. They have now been invited to make new proposals. Total resumed talks with Gazprom in January. Gazprom also plans to build a plant near the Barents Sea to produce liquefied natural gas, or LNG, from Shtokman. Gazprom bought a controlling stake in Sakhalin-2, Russia's first LNG project, from Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. last year. (Bloomberg)