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Norwegian Statoil Hydro to also develop Shtokman gas field

Recently merged Norwegian energy group Statoil Hydro on Thursday said it had been awarded a 24% stake in the development of the huge Shtokman gas field.

A “frame agreement” was to be signed Thursday with Russian gas giant Gazprom, the group said. The news pushed the Statoil Hydro share price on the Oslo bourse. Statoil Hydro - the merger of state-controlled Statoil and Norsk Hydro’s petroleum and gas activities - has experience in extracting gas and oil from fields in the Barents Sea. In July, Gazprom selected French concern Total as its initial partner.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said at the time that Total would hold a 25% share but that Gazprom would sell a further 24%, reducing its ownership to a controlling 51%. The Shtokman field in the Barents Sea is considered to be one of the world’s largest natural gas deposits with an estimated 3.2 to 3.7 trillion cubic metres of gas. Deliveries from the field are envisaged to start in 2013 via a new Baltic Sea pipeline to be built, connecting to Germany. A year later, deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) would start up by ship to the United States. Bids were also made by US firms ConocoPhillips and Chevron. (m&