Gazprom and its partners Total and Statoil have agreed to postpone the Arctic Shtokman gas field’s output after a dip in demand and prospective export demand.

Output will be postponed by three years to 2016 instead of 2013, and LNG output to 2017 instead of 2014, Gazprom said.

Poor export prospects triggered by an increase in North American shale gas output and a fall in European demand are believed to be some of the main contributors to the delay.

Exports remained sluggish last year because of the global recession and an unexpected rise in shale gas supplies in the US, reports Reuters.

Excess LNG supply in the US, coupled with low imported gas demand, resulted in supplies being transported to Europe, which pushed spot gas market prices in Europe below oil-indexed Russian prices.

This, in turn, caused Gazprom’s clients to shift consumption to cheaper LNG from Russian gas.