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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Total Offers $5Bln for Shtokman

PARIS -- French energy group Total could spend $4 billion to $5 billion to help state-controlled Gazprom develop the giant gas field Shtokman, Total's head said in an interview published Monday.

"If we consider at this point that a minimum investment for the first phase of development is around $15 billion, Total's [financial] effort should be around $4 billion to $5 billion over five years," CEO Christophe de Margerie told French daily newspaper Le Figaro.

Gazprom chose Total as a development partner on Thursday in a sign of closer Moscow-Paris ties, but the move left questions over how good a deal the French group had won.

Under the deal, Total will receive a 25 percent stake in the company that will build and own the pipes, rigs and other infrastructure for the first phase of Shtokman's development.

Asked whether not holding a stake in the production license was risky, de Margerie said, "A group like ours wishes for a remuneration that corresponds to the risks taken and the work that has been made."

"In the case of Shtokman, this equation is fully respected."

"Mutual comprehension" between Gazprom and Total had set the ground for an agreement after years of discussions, de Margerie said, adding that the French group had other projects in Russia.

"We have other projects and as you will understand, discretion is the word," he said.

"With Shtokman we have found a way to intensify our cooperation with Gazprom. We also work with Rosneft. All this takes time."