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Shtokman Tax Break Expected Soon

PARIS — Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky expects the government to announce tax breaks that would facilitate development of the giant Shtokman gas field by Gazprom, France's Total and Norway's Statoil in the next month and a half.

"I'm sure we will be able to find optimal conditions to implement the project … that on the one hand will bring revenue to the Russian state and on the other hand will enable the investor companies to have the return on the investment," he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Paris.

When asked about the timing of the government's decision on the tax changes, he responded: "A month, month and a half," he said, speaking through an interpreter.

Last week, Statoil chief executive Helge Lund said the consortium planning to develop the field, one of the largest gas finds in the world, needed a decision soon to avoid the project falling further behind schedule. Previous deadlines have already been missed.

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