KazMunaiGaz acquires 50% stake in British Gas's project
Kazakhstan's national oil company KazMunaiGaz acquires British Gas? 50% stake in a project to develop a Caspian oil field, formally taking a greater role in a part of its economy long dominated by foreigners.
KazMunaiGaz and members of an international consortium led by Italian oil firm Eni, have sealed the deal, under which KazMunaiGaz bought 8.33 percent of British Gas Group PLC's stake in the project to develop the Kashagan field for about $913 million.
The Kashagan field, which lies beneath the northern part of the Caspian Sea, was discovered in 2000 and has an estimated 5.29 billion tons of oil. Production there is expected to start in 2007 or 2008.
The purchase of a stake in the 40-year Kashagan project would let the ex-Soviet republic earn $85 billion over the life of the project, Kazakh Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik said.
British Gas last year agreed to sell its 16.67 percent share in the project to its consortium partners, but the Kazakh government suspended the deal, claiming it had pre-emptive rights to the stake.
British Gas has said it intended to sell the remaining half of its stake to the other consortium members, which also include France's Total SA, Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Japan's Inpex,