Total chief blasts Gazprom over Shtokman

Media chatter: Total chief implies Gazprom are changing Shtokman through public comments

Total chief executive Christophe de Margerie has blasted his Russian partners in Shtokman for hinting at changing the partners in the giant gas project without telling the French oil major or Statoil.

On Wednesday, Gazprom vice chairman Alexander Medvedev said his company was considering finding new partners for the much-delayed Arctic venture, but that the two European majors - who both hold a quarter share in the development - had "good chances" of staying.

Speaking to Dow Jones Newswires on the sidelines of the World Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur, De Margerie said the prospect of new partners for Shtokman was never even mentioned at recent Moscow talks involving the current partners and Russian leaders.

"Quite honestly, this isn't all quite clear, this was never mentioned to me by Medvedev or Miller,” the Total chief said.

“It would be good to talk to each other directly and not through the media," he added, declining to state if had sought clarification from Gazprom on the issue.

Gazprom has been trying to develop Shtokman for more than 20 years, held back by the extreme weather conditions, precipitously low gas prices and the emergence of the US as a gas exporter.

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