One of the main economic priorities for Russia and the US in the energy sector over the coming years will be the joint development of the gas fields on the Kola shelf including the Shtokman field. According to the press office of the Murmansk regional administration, the agreement was reached at the weekend.
The development of the gas fields will be financed by investors and the Russian side will be represented by Gazprom. Equipment will be provided by Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips and other large international companies, possibly European.
The Shtokman gas field was discovered in 1988 on the shelf of the Barents Sea just 600 kilometres from the Kola peninsular. It covers an area of 1,400 square kilometers. The field is estimated to hold 3 thousand billion cubic metres of gas and 27 million tons of oil. Experts believe that annual gas output could be about 60-100 billion cubic metres. The rights to develop the Shtokman field were granted to Rosshelf in 1993 but they passed to Sevmorneftegaz in 2002. Rosshelf, however, has a 50% stake in Sevmorneftegaz.