(Refiles to give current name of Statoil instead of StatoilHydro. Gives more specific comparison of field output to Norwegian current production in seventh para)
MOSCOW, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Gazprom (GAZP.MM), Russia’s state-run gas export monopoly, said on Friday it had agreed with joint venture partners Statoil STL.OL and Total (TOTF.PA) to delay their Shtokman gas project until 2016. [ID:nLDE6141NX]
Gazprom said the postponement was a result of major changes in global gas markets. Following are some key details about the project:
* Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer and supplier of a quarter of Europe’s needs, controls 51 percent of the Shtokman project. France’s Total controls 25 percent share and Norway’s Statoil 24 percent. THE FIELD
* Discovered in 1988, Shtokman contains more than enough gas to supply the whole world for a year.
* It is located under the Barents Sea, about 600 km (375 miles) northeast of the city of Murmansk, at local sea depths varying from 320 to 340 metres. The region’s hostile conditions include icebergs, stormy seas, freezing winds and months of darkness every year.
* The field’s C1 and C2 reserves — its proven and probable reserves by Russian standards, which tend to provide a higher estimate than Western measurements — account for 3.8 trillion cubic metres of gas and around 53 million tonnes of gas condensate.
* The project envisages annual production of about 70 billion cubic metres of natural gas and 0.6 million tonnes of gas condensate, comparable to 70 percent of Norway’s gas output. * Shtokman’s first phase envisages annual production of 23.7 billion cubic metres of natural gas and investment of at least $15 billion.
* Gazprom originally planned to supply the U.S. market with liquefied natural gas from Shtokman. It later changed its mind and said it would split production equally between pipeline exports to Europe and LNG to the United States.
* Gazprom and its partners have agreed to delay pipeline gas production until 2016 from an earlier plan of 2013, and to delay the start of LNG production to 2017 from 2014. It cited “changes in the market situation and particularly in the LNG market”.
* A final investment decision on pipeline gas is now planned before March 2011 and on LNG before the end of 2011, a year later than planned.
* Friday’s delay is not the first encountered by Shtokman. If the field is put on stream in 2016, this will be 16 years later than initially planned.
* Gazprom plans to pump the gas from a mile beneath the sea bed, pipe it 550 km (340 miles) to shore and then pipe it on to Europe or turn it into liquefied natural gas (LNG) at a plant near Murmansk, the largest city inside the Arctic Circle.
* The size of the Shtokman field means it is likely to need up to four production platforms, which will take at least four years to build. Each will have to withstand 25-metre waves and the impact of drifting ice.
* The project will also require a number of ice-breakers, meaning a revival of an industry that has been virtually non-existent since the collapse of the Soviet Union. (Reporting by Robin Paxton, editing by Anthony Barker)