Gazprom and Shell to delay joint venture for natural gas production
Gazprom and Shell have announced they are to delay setting up a $ 1 bn joint venture for the production of natural
gas in the Russian Arctic, having failed to agree on certain unnamed details of the project.
The firms said they originally planned to sign an agreement later this month to develop the Zapolyarnoye site, which holds an estimated 500 bn cm of gas and 230 mm tons (1.7 bn barrels) of oil.
A Gazprom spokesman said the joint venture was unlikely to happen until 2001, but that the company was confident it
could iron out the details without the help of Shell.
Gazprom is stepping up exploration activity in the Arctic, where many gas fields have remained untapped, following a 5 % drop in production this year to 520 bn cm, its second year of decline. The company, which produces a quarter of the world's gas, now buys gas from Turkmenistan to ensure deliveries to domestic consumers.