Kazmunaygas Talks Partnership With LUKOIL In Kalamkas-Sea, Khazar Fields

(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) ASTANA, Kazakhstan, April 9. Kazakhstan'sKazMunayGas (KMG, the national oil and gas
company) has attractedLUKOIL as a strategic partner for the implementation of theKalamkas-Sea and Khazar fields, Deputy Chairman of the Board ofKazMunayGas Kuanysh Kudaibergenov, Trend reports.

"The Kalamkas-Sea and Khazar fields were previously part ofdifferent subsoil use contracts with different operators. Theoperator of Kalamkas-Sea was North Caspian Operating Company N.V.(NCOC), which also develops the Kashagan field; the operator ofKhazar was Caspi Meruerty Operating Company B.V. (CMOC), with theparticipation of Shell and Oman Oil. For a number of reasons, thedevelopment of fields was delayed, including the lack of economicfeasibility of independent operations. As a result, the companiesrefused to invest in the development of fields and returned theplots to the state. Therefore, taking into account the geographicalproximity and geological similarity of these fields, the governmentdecided to combine these projects into one subsoil use contract. Inturn, after lengthy negotiations, KazMunayGas attracted LUKOIL as astrategic partner, which has already implemented a number ofsimilar projects in the Russian sector of the Caspian Sea," hesaid.

Kudaibergenov noted that the presence of a strategic partnerwith appropriate technologies for the development of shelf fieldswas a decisive factor, thanks to which the project was able to berestarted. Otherwise, the project might still be waiting for aninvestor.

"The project involves investments of about $6.5 billion and isclassified as 'technologically complex'. For the first time inKazakhstan, the deposit is planned to be exploited using offshoremetal platforms. During the construction of the platforms, Kazakhshipyards in the Mangystau region will be involved, which arecurrently idle since the completion of construction work atKashagan. All this implies an increase in business activity in theregion and the creation of new jobs. Therefore, the emergence of astrategic partner willing to invest in such an expensive project iscertainly a positive factor," he said.

Kudaibergenov pointed out that KMG has a 50 percent stake in theproject.

"All decisions are made on a parity basis between theparticipants of the joint venture. The management of the projectoperator also consists of an equal number of representatives fromboth participants. Thus, statements in some media that "KMG haslost control of the project" are untrue," he noted.

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