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Kazakhstan Eyes BG Stake

Kazakhstan's oil minister said Friday that the Kazakh government wants to buy British Gas' stake

Kazakhstan's oil minister said Friday that the Kazakh government wants to buy British Gas' entire stake in a project to develop a giant oil field in the Caspian Sea.

Recently Kazakhstan reached consent of the members of an international consortium preparing to develop the Kashagan oil field to allow the national oil company KazMunaiGaz to join the project.
British Gas wants to sell its 16.67 percent stake -- worth about $1.2 billion -- and the sides are now negotiating what part could be sold to KazMunaiGaz.

The consortium has the right to buy the stake and initially opposed KazMunaiGaz's bid. British Gas earlier said it intended to sell its stake to other consortium members, which include Italian energy giant Eni, British Gas, Total SA, Royal Dutch/Shell Group, ExxonMobil Corp., ConocoPhillips and Japan's Inpex.

The Kazakh government argues it has ownership rights to Kashagan. Its bid to get a share in the field is seen as part of its effort to increase KazMunaiGaz's participation in the country's oil and gas sector, now dominated by foreign investors.