From where the international oil groups like Chevron, Statoil, BP and Shell are standing, this all looks bad. Together, they now account for only 20 percent of the world's reserves.
There could be nasty repercussions in Russia, too. Frank Harris, analyst at consultancy Wood Mackenzie Harris, said Gazprom may have abandoned the Shtokman partnership from a position of weakness -- it would have cost too much. Costs could spiral as expertise is spread thinly across the growing number of projects around the world.
"Two years ago, liquefaction plants were built at US$300-400 per tonne of capacity. Now that is probably US$600 and may be even more," he said.
"Once they had decided to keep foreign companies out, they could not afford LNG," Neff added.
This could deprive Russia of one of the key emerging technologies in oil and gas production in future.
The silver lining for the West is that Putin has hinted that companies may be allowed back into Shtokman on a contractual, rather than equity, basis. From Gazprom's point of view this poses less of a short-term threat. But in the long run, it has to develop technical expertise of its own, and doing this through contracts, rather than equity partnerships, may well limit its ability to do so in the future.