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Russia invites Statoil as oil field partner

27 Apr 2010 14:08 (+01:00 GMT)
Russia invites Statoil as oil field partner

Moscow, 27 April (Argus) — Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has invited Norway's Statoil to co-operate with Gazprom in the development of 607mn bl Prirazlomnoye oil field in the Arctic, offshore Timan Pechora province.

But the invitation made during Medvedev's two-day official visit to Norway this week has so far drawn only a lukewarm reaction from Statoil, whose priority in Russia is the Shtokman gas project.

The commercial start-up of Prirazlomnoye was originally scheduled for 2008 but has been repeatedly delayed. State-controlled Gazprom has also run into problems with the field's offshore platform, which is being assembled by Russia's Sevmash shipyard in Arkhangelsk.

The new tentative start-up date for Prirazlomnoye is 2011.Gazprom hopes to begin production drilling in April next year. If the company can stick to this deadline, then it should be able to reach plateau production of 130,000 b/d in 2017.

Liquids arm Gazpromneft's upstream chief Boris Zilbermints said two years ago that a foreign partner would be needed to commission Prirazlomnoye once the drilling platform is assembled on the field.

“This is an example of the project where a lack of offshore experience and financing becomes evident, along with the fact that the country's machine-building industry lags behind western companies,” Russian bank Troika Dialog analyst Valery Nesterov said.

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