Kazakh firm eyes Oman's upstream assets
Astana, July 12, 2008
Kazakhstan, which is eyeing Oman's stake in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), is also interested in the Arab state's upstream Kazakh assets, state oil and gas company KazMunaiGas said yesterday.
Industry sources said earlier Oman was selling its stake in the CPC, a key oil pipeline for Kazakh crude exports, following delays to CPC's expansion.
Yesterday, KazMunaiGas chief executive Serik Burkitbayev said Oman could also sell its stakes in Zhemchuzhina and Dunga oilfields.
'We have expressed our interest and if the government approves the acquisition we will evaluate its feasibility,' Burkitbayev said.
Oman owns 20 per cent in the Zhemchuzhina (Pearls) field located on the Caspian shelf that holds an estimated 750 million barrels of oil. Shell has 55pc in the project and KazMunaiGas owns 25pc.
The three shareholders set up a joint venture to operate the field which is still in the exploration stage.
Oman also owns a 20pc stake in the smaller onshore field Dunga located in Western Kazakhstan and operated by Denmark's Maersk.
Burkitbayev separately confirmed Kazakhstan's interest in Oman's 7pc stake in CPC.
Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said yesterday Russia could also make a bid for Oman's stake.
Strong cash flows from expensive oil and the laws that give it a preferential right to buy any oil assets sold in the country have enabled KazMunaiGas to carry out a string of acquisitions in recent years.
The company then transferred most onshore assets it had bought to its London-listed subsidiary KazMunaiGas Exploration and Production.