Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller also took part in the meeting.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr Lund.
We met not so long ago to talk about expanding our cooperation in developing offshore oil production. We also agreed on that occasion to continue our contacts and continue working together on gas production, too.
You have a big and very good project with Gazprom. Gazprom is pursuing work and research and technology cooperation in several different areas. The Shtokman project mining asset has global significance and we have not made a final decision on it yet, but we need to make active progress. I think that we have every chance of moving forward. Indeed, we could take steps in this direction very soon, at the St Petersburg Economic Forum. I propose that we discuss these various matters today.
President and CEO of Statoil Asa Helge Lund: Thank you, Mr President, for taking the time to see me again. I take it as a signal of the importance of the energy sector for Russia and for the world.
Shtokman is a pioneering project, the first of its kind in a very, very harsh environment. It’s a big opportunity, but there are also many challenges that we have to solve on the way. Gazprom and Statoil are very aligned on the development concept, with a focus on LNG. Russian gas can penetrate the global market.
We’re working very hard to optimise the development concept and have a good dialogue with Gazprom on that. So we’re working very hard toward a meeting in St Petersburg and we’re making progress. I would like to tell you also that as I see it, Shtokman has importance beyond the project itself. We have the long experience from offshore projectsin Norway that they create a lot of ripple effects in the society. So one of the objectives here is to use this project as a catalyst to also develop Russian industry in the offshore sector.
Over 40 years, the Norwegian continental shelf, I think, has produced some of the strongest technology and service companies in the world, offshore. And that must be the objective here, as well. So I hope that in common, we can solve the remaining challenges and then move forward.