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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shtokman Decision Set for October

ST. PETERSBURG -- Gazprom will decide by mid-October on new partners for its Shtokman gas project, executives said Tuesday, sending mixed signals as to how many companies were on the shortlist.

Gazprom deputy chairman Valery Golubev said the company was talking to five bidders, while Yury Komarov, head of the Shtokman license holder, Sevmorneftegaz, said talks were taking place only with Norway's Statoil, Norsk Hydro and U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips.

"We can expand the list of partners by selling 24 percent in the project's managing company to a partner that has experience working in hard climate conditions and has relevant technologies," Golubev told reporters.

"I think the decision will be taken in September, mid-October at the latest," he added.

Gazprom last year dropped its initial plan to invite foreign firms as equity partners to Shtokman and chose to give them stakes in the managing company instead. In July, Gazprom teamed up with Total, which will get a 25 percent stake in the managing company that will develop the $15 billion, 25-year first phase of Shtokman, a field big enough to supply the world for a year.

Golubev said the project was expected to start pumping 23 billion to 24 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year in 2013, while liquefied natural gas deliveries to European and U.S. markets are seen starting in 2014.