Statoil Asks Gazprom to Bring Shell Into Shtokman: RIA

Statoil ASA wants Royal Dutch Shell Plc to become the main foreign partner in development of the Shtokman offshore natural gas project in Russia, RIA Novosti reported.

Statoil sent a letter to OAO Gazprom proposing the change, the Russian news agency reported, citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter. Gazprom owns 51 percent of Shtokman Development AG, Statoil owns 24 percent and France’s Total SA owns 25 percent. The report didn’t say if Statoil is seeking a replacement for Total or to reduce the company’s stake in the project.

Total Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie said earlier today his company is happy with its 25 percent holding in the project.

The three companies may start talks about their roles in the project next week, the agency said, citing an unnamed speaker at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum today.