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  Wednesday, November 20, 2019
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Alexander Vershbow yesterday articulated the price for Russian companies to enter the American natural gas market
U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow yesterday articulated the price for Russian companies to enter the American natural gas market: first, they should move to take advantage of the "window of opportunity" now opening up on the market; second, Moscow must guarantee American companies access to its gas resources. Although he did not name names, he was clearly referring to Gazprom, Vremya Novostei writes. Negotiations between the Russian monopoly and potential participants in the Shtokman project (a Barents Sea shelf containing 3.2 trillion cubic meters of gas and 31 million tons of condensate), oriented to deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to North America, have entered the concluding stage. The final decision on the consortium's lineup should be made within the next two months. ConocoPhilips, ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco, Royal Dutch/Shell, BP, and Norway's Hydro and Statoil are all trying to claim a share in the project's first stage. Meanwhile, Gazprom appears to be trying to find exclusive access to the American market. One of the known conditions for American partners to join the project is granting the Russian concern an equivalent proportion in a company that sells natural gas on the American market. Gazprom will obviously try to agree terms with potential partners using currently fashionable "asset-swapping" principles. Besides, the Russian monopoly intends to keep a controlling interest in LPG production in Russia. Norway's Hydro and Statoil have already offered the Russian concern a share in their Ormen Lange and Snohvit shelf projects. They plan to have a final package of proposals ready by May. At the same time, neither company can claim the role of the main partner, which is likely to go to one of the American corporations.
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