Total Fina Elf has said that it wants a twenty five percent share in a ten billion dollar offshore natural gas project with Gazprom, as Europe's third-largest oil company considers accelerating its investments in the Russia market.
“We hope that by the end of the year there will be a consortium to launch this project,” said Patricia Marie, a Total spokeswoman in Paris. “We hope to have a 25 percent interest.”
Total is part of a group including Gazprom and Conoco that has been studying the Shtokman field since 1996. Gazprom in December said it plans to delay drilling in the area, which is thought to have enough gas to supply the US for four years, to focus on cheaper investments.
Exxon Mobil and BP are among the oil companies that have moved ahead this year on projects in Russia, as political tensions in the Middle East delay energy investment there. Russia is the biggest gas producer and the second largest oil supplier in the world.