09 July 2007

Risk brings change to Gazprom project

Only last October, Russian gas giant Gazprom claimed it exploit the Shtokman gas field on its own.

But, Gazprom is now considering a partnership with a western private-sector petroleum company because of concerns about spiraling costs.

Observers point to the complexities of the project - including freezing weather conditions, icebergs, and lack of infrastructure to transport the gas to market - for Gazprom's shift in tone.

A Gazprom spokesman also pointed to the company's concern about the potential for operating costs to spiral, saying: "We can't afford to take those financial risks."