Low market prices take the shine off Arctic gas

Laying pipes for Nord Stream to carry gas under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany (photo: dpa)
Laying pipes for Nord Stream to carry gas under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany (photo: dpa)

The Arctic should be rewarding territory for investors because of its abundance of hydrocarbons. But, as the Russians have found in a giant gas field in the Barents Sea, it is a hard and inhospitable place to develop, particularly when the price of gas on the world market is so low.

THE discovery of the giant Shtokman gas field in 1988 in the Russian waters of the Barents Sea caused great excitement among investors and neighbouring coastal states.

But more than two decades later, the field’s future remains uncertain.

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In August 2012, the Russian giant energy company, Gazprom, announced that the...

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