France’s Total may enter a new consortium involved in the development of the first stage of the Shtokman gas field, the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom reported after a meeting between Gazprom’s Chief Alexei Miller and Total’s President Christophe de Margerie. “It was agreed to prepare a roadmap with an aim to sign a new agreement to implement the project,” Gazprom said. The sides discussed prospects of joint implementation of the Shtokman project and the possibility of cutting capital and operational costs. A new shareholders’ agreement on the Shtokman deposit was initially planned to be signed in autumn last year. “At present, we are holding the final consultations on the configuration and terms of implementing the Shtokman project. We expect to finish them by the start of autumn,” Miller said. A Gazprom source told Itar-Tass that the gas monopoly was holding separate talks with each participant in a future shareholders’ agreement. The new agreement should take account of changing technological schemes of developing the deposit that implies transition to practically 100-percent production of liquefied natural gas in the first stage of the deposit’s development. The Shtokman gas deposit is located in the centre of the shelf zone of the Russian section of the Barents Sea. This is the world’s biggest gas field in terms of explored gas reserves. The field harbors 3.9 trillion cubic meters of gas and about 56 million tons of gas condensate. The program of development of the Shtokman gas deposit provides for full exploration cycle that ranges from research to processing and transportation. The cycle has three stages. The first stage provides for the annual extraction of 23.7 billion cubic meters of gas.