Kazakhstan, Astana, Feb. 19 / Trend, D. Mukhtarov /
Kazakh Oil and Gas Minister Sauat Mynbayev confirmed the Norwegian Statoil company's withdrawal from the Abay project in the Caspian Sea.
"KazMunaiGas will consider the issue of developing the Abay block with other partners," Mynbayev told the media after a government meeting. "I cannot name this partner yet."
He added that Kazakhstan has not suffered any losses in connection with the Norwegian Statoil's withdrawal from the project, as the Norwegian company bore these costs. The minister did not specify the amount of expenses.
Norwegian Statoil has officially informed Kazakhstan about its intention to withdraw from the Abay project in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea, it was earlier reported referring to some sources at KazMunaiGas.
In April 2011, the Kazakh national oil and gas company KazMunaiGas (KMG) and Statoil signed an Agreement of Principle on Abay, located in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea.
According to the agreement, the parties planned to work to coordinate the conditions of joint activity within Abay's implementation. Moreover, the parties agreed on Statoil's participation in the building of a jack-up rig which will be used in future for exploration of the Caspian Sea shelf.
"We are interested in cooperation with Statoil because of their experience in implementing international offshore oil and gas projects as well as their technology. The signing of the Agreement of Principles confirms the parties' intentions concerning a strategic partnership of our companies to work together in the Caspian Sea," former chairman of the board of KMG, Kairgeldy Kabyldin said previously.
In turn, Statoil's executive vice-president for exploration Tim Dodson noted that joint cooperation on the Abay block is an important strategic step for the company in terms of international growth.
The first memorandum of understanding on possible cooperation on Abay was signed between KazMunaiGas national company and Statoil on June 30, 2005.
In June 2010, as part of the Fourth International Investment Summit in Almaty, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding.
Abay is located in the northern part of the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea, 65 kilometres from the coast at a depth of eight to10 metres.
KazMunaiGas JSC is Kazakhstan's national exploration, production, processing and transportation operator. All the shares belong to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna.
Statoil is an international energy company represented in over 40 countries. The company is one of the world's largest exporters of crude oil. It is also the largest operator of deep-water fields with depths of over 100 metres, the world leader in the capture and storage of CO2, the second largest exporter of gas to Europe and the largest seller of oil products in Scandinavia. The Statoil office in Astana was opened in 2004.
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