Russian environmental NGOs recently sent a letter to executives of Gazprom, Statoil and Total asking the companies to delay the final investment decision for Shtokman natural gas project until all the aspects of environmental impacts are thoroughly examined, and the means of elimination of potential consequences are defined.
The organizations said that Shtokman Development AG (SDAG) does not own enough information regarding the topic and called on SDAG shareholders to refrain themselves from making the FID in December “until all the gaps in the evaluation of environmental risks have been eliminated and a plan for elimination of consequences of the accident is developed.”
According to NMTs Informatika Riska risk assesment, the proposed project still needs to develop certain plans for elimination of the accidental situations that may arise during drilling, both for coastal and sea-based operations, for gas lines, terminals, in-shore waters, as well as an overall plan for their use.
The NGO’s called for the detailed development plan for accident response to be made public and posted on the SDAG’s website.
Discovered in 1988, the Shtokman gas and condensate field is located in the central part of the Russian sector of the Barents Sea shelf, about 600 kilometers northeast of Murmansk, where sea depth varies between 320 and 340 meters.
On July 13, 2007 Gazprom and Total signed the Framework Agreement on the major terms and conditions of cooperation when developing Phase 1 of the Shtokman gas and condensate field. The identical Agreement between Gazprom and StatoilHydro (present Statoil) was signed on October 25, 2007.
In order to implement the project, on February 21, 2008 Gazprom, Total and StatoilHydro signed the Shareholder Agreement to set up the special-purpose company Shtokman Development AG. Gazprom holds a 51 per cent stake in the company, while Total and Statoil – 25 and 24 per cent stakes, accordingly.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, December 5, 2011; Image: Gazprom