Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image Shell eyes Russian gas project  2007-11-06 07:19:46     
BRUSSELS, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — Dutch oil giant Shell wants to participate in the exploitation of a large gas field on the Russian peninsula Jamal in northern Siberia, Dutch paper Financiele Dagblad reported Monday.

The Bovanenko field, owned by Russian gas giant Gazprom, could produce 250 billion cubic meters of gas a year, the report said. This is three times the gas production in the Netherlands.

Shell had a big row with Gazprom over the Sachalin 2 gas project in the past years, but relations between the two have improved remarkably. Thanks to a joint venture with Rosneft, Shell has the prospect of new oil and gas projects in Russia and hopes to be able to augment its reserves in this way.

Shell declined to comment on the possible gas investment in Russia, which was disclosed by sources close to Shell, the paper said.

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and Economic Affairs State Secretary Frank Heemskerk started a four-day visit to Moscowon Monday. They are accompanied by a big business delegation including Shell officials, and the primary aim is reportedly to lobby for Dutch companies in the Jamal project.

During his visit to the Kremlin on Tuesday, Balkenende will discuss this with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Besides Shell, other companies interested in the Jamal project include Boskalis, Gas Terra, Van Oord and Royal Haskoning.

Hans van Lamoen, vice-president of Shell Russia, indicated Shell’s interest in Jamal two weeks ago during a presentation in The Hague. “This is the next gas gold mine to be harvested,” he said.

Development of the Jamal region will involve investments totaling 600 billion euros (one euro equals 1,447 U.S. dollars) during the next 50 years, for example for infrastructure such as an airfield, Dutch experts say.

The Dutch business sector is in favor of future joint ventures with Russian companies, which will have the final say on a 49 percent-51 percent share basis.
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