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Icebergs threaten vast Russian gas project

Russia’s giant Shtokman gas field, one of the world’s most challenging offshore projects, will face even greater problems as global warming unleashes vast icebergs into the Arctic, a senior scientist says.

Even if icebergs are unlikely to halt the world’s largest single energy development, as the global hunger for resources grows, they would make the $30 billion-plus project by Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom yet more expensive.
“Our studies show that, as the Arctic climate gets milder, the risks of huge iceberg formation and ice storms in the Barents Sea will grow significantly by 2015,” said Alexander Frolov, deputy head of state weather forecaster Rosgidromet.

“When we talk about such a large project as Shtokman, we can’t just ignore these risks,” he told Reuters.

Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer and supplier of a quarter of Europe’s needs, says it realised that Shtokman would be one of the world’s most tough and costly developments immediately after discovering the field in 1988.


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