Gazprom has announced that it plans to develop the Shtokman gas field without foreign partners, surprising Statoil and Hyrdo, which were both previously short-listed as potential partners in the project.

Gazprom said that Shtokman will be the resource base for Russian gas export to Europe via the Nord Stream gas pipeline and that Gazprom will develop the field on its own, without the help of foreign partners.

Back in September 2005, Gazprom short-listed several potential partners for the gas field project, namely Statoil, Total, Chevron, Hydro and ConocoPhillips.

Gazprom will use 100% of the Shtokman field resources. Over the continuous period of time Gazprom has studied the possibility of providing foreign companies with a 49% stake in the Shtokman project. International companies however failed to offer assets matching Shtokman’s reserves in amount and quality, commented Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller.

Statoil said in a statement that Gazprom’s announcement was unexpected, and that the company will now discuss the implications of the announcement with the Russian gas titan.

Hyrdo, meanwhile, refused to comment on the implications of the news, stating that it was still waiting for further information from Gazprom.