RUSSIAN, NORWEGIAN OIL & GAS GROUPS TO DO JOINT RESEARCH

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MOSCOW, September 9 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom and Rosneft of Russia and Norway's Statoil will do joint research on a number of projects off the Barents sea Coast, the companies announce in a press release.

The research will be undertaken in keeping with a memorandum of understanding that was signed in Moscow Wednesday. The memo concerns the development of the Shtokman gas deposit; the construction of a gas liquefaction facility in partnership with Norway; Russian involvement in the production of liquefied gas at the Norwegian gas deposit Snohvit and in the operation of Statoil's regasifying facilities in North America.

A trilateral governing committee and a working group will be set up to guide the sides through their joint studies.

It was on October 4, 2001, that Gazprom and Rosneft signed an agreement to cooperate in developing the Prirazlom oil field and the Shtokman gas deposit. To implement the agreement, the parties set up a consortium, Sevmorneftegaz.

The Shtokman deposit holds an estimated 3.2 million cubic meters of natural gas reserves and 31 million tons of condensate reserves. Gas and condensate to be recovered here will be exported to North America and other Western countries.

Statoil is a highly-integrated oil and gas company. Its net profit reached $2.33 billion last year. This Norwegian group is one of the main suppliers of natural gas to Europe. In 2003, its daily oil & gas output totaled some 1.07 million barrels oil-equivalent (boe).

The Snovit deposit is located in the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea. It holds an estimated 190 million cubic meters of recoverable natural gas reserves and over 20 million tons of condensate reserves. The deposit will be developed using underwater equipment and systems of remote control.

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