Russian Gas monopoly Gazprom signed a deal with French energy giant Total on Friday to jointly develop the enormous Shtokman natural gas field.

The first stage of the arctic region project on the Barents sea could cost $15 billion, said Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Medeved according to the RIA-Novosti news agency.

Total will own 25 percent of the joint venture, while Gazprom will retain the rest. Foreign participants could eventually gain 24 percent of Gazprom’s part.

The agreement states that Gazprom will 100 percent the Shtokman license holder, OOO Sevmorneftegaz. Gazprom will also retain all hydrocarbons marketing rights.

After the completion of phase one, Total will transfer its share of the joint venture back to Gazprom.

Total had previously failed several time to seal lucrative energy deals in Russian. The Shtokman field is estimated to contain as much as 3.7 trillion cubic meters of gas, enough to meet the world’s natural gas demand for a year.

Total was chosen by the Russian gas company over a number of other foreign candidate including ConocoPhillips, Statoil and Norsk Hydro and Chevron.