Gazprom said the initial semi-submersible drilling rig at the Shtokman field is scheduled for construction in late 2010 with a second installation planned for 2011.

The Shtokman field has an initial projected annual production capacity of 794 billion cubic feet of natural gas and over 200,000 tonnes of gas condensate.

Last year, Total and Statoil entered into a shareholder agreement for a special-purpose company that would execute the engineering, development, construction, financing and operation of the initial phase for Shtokman field development.

Gazprom said that infrastructure construction for the gas field should take into account navigation safety and the regional platform should be designed to withstand 100ft waves in extreme climates.