CHEREPOVETS, September 5 (Itar-Tass) — All the decisions related to investment in the construction works under phase one of the Shtokman offshore field project will be taken before the yearend, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Monday as he addressed a conference of the United Russia party members living in Russia’s North-Western Federal District.
He indicated that the country’s major producer and exporter of natural gas, Russian gas major Gazprom, was compelled to suspend works at the Shtokman gas and condensate field owing to an unfavorable market situation.
“Yet we are not going to shelve this project,” Putin said. “All the decisions on investing in its first phase should be taken before the end of this year.”
He indicated that the implementation of phase one might be over in the third or fourth quarter of 2016.
As for the commissioning of a gas liquefaction plant, is has been scheduled for 2017.
Putin mentioned the overall situation in the fuels and energy sector in the North-Western district, saying the second turn of the Baltic Pipeline System is due to come on stream in two months’ time, and its commissioning will hopefully furnish Russia with an opportunity to diversify the energy resource exports considerably.
On the face of it, he reiterated the importance of continuing the installation of gas distribution networks inside the country.
“I’d like to call the attention of Gazprom executives and regional governors to the fact it’s inadmissible to neglect the development of gas distribution networks in our own regions,” Putin said.
On the whole, the authorities are pondering a big enough development of resource base in the north-west of the country, he said.
“We’ll utilize the coal seams of the Pechora coalfields and particular attention will be given to the safety of the coalminers’ work and the solution of their social programs,” Putin said.
“Naturally, we must keep up our mines in the mining township of Barentsburg on Svalbard, and if you take oil, the prospects in that sphere are linked to the Timan-Pechora oil province,” he said. “Active development of the Kharyaga and Usinsk oilfields in the Komi Republic and the Nenets Autonomous Area has already begun.”
He also mentioned oil production on the continental shelf of Arctic seas, saying the first ice-resistant drilling platform was installed earlier this year at the Prirazlomny deposit located on the border between the Barents and Kara Seas.
“Commercial production of hydrocarbons is due to begin there in a few months time,” Putin said. “First amounts of crude from Prirazlomny are expected in the first quarter of 2012 and full-scale commercial output will begin in the fourth quarter.”
In addition to this, Putin spoke in favor of creating a power cluster of petrochemical facilities in Russia’s northwest.
“We’ll have to do a considerable buildup of our oil refining capabilities and to form a powerful petrochemical cluster,” he said.
This in turn presupposes considerable investment in oil refining and technological modernization of refineries, Putin said.