French oil major Total will reportedly be allowed to acquire 25% of the natural gas extracted during the first phase of the development of the Shtokman gas condensate field, on which the firm is participating following an agreement signed with Russian gas monopoly Gazprom earlier in the year, Thompson Financial has reported, citing Russian daily Kommersant.

<p>In July 2007, Total and Gazprom signed an agreement allowing the French firm to hold a 25% stake in a special purpose joint venture company to be established by the companies for the development of the field. Gazprom was to hold the remaining 75% and retain all marketing rights of the hydrocarbons to be extracted from the vast field.<br /><br />However, according to Kommersant, as cited by Thompson Financial, unnamed sources have revealed that Total will now be allowed to acquire 25% of the output from the field for an estimated $800 million. While Total was reportedly unavailable for comment, Kommersant reported that a Gazprom executive confirmed that the price was about right.<br /><br />When announcing the co-operation with Total in July, Alexey Miller, chairman of Gazprom&#0039;s management committee, revealed that the firm expects output from the first phase of the development of the field to reach 3.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. Deliveries are expected to start in 2013.<br /><br />According to business publication Russia Today, Total&#0039;s $800 million investment will also allow it to shoulder more responsibility during the 25-year development project, with a possible managerial role and an equal share of the venture&#0039;s risks.<br /><br />In addition, Kommersant is reported to have revealed that Gazprom is looking to bring in a third company to participate on the field, through a 24% interest that will come out of its own 75% share. According to MarketWatch, possible partners include Statoil, Hydro and ConocoPhillips. It is believed that the firm will be chosen in September 2007.</p>