An oil group led by Italy's Eni is believed to have taken a first step towards resolution of a dispute with Kazakhstan over the development of Kashagan, the giant oilfield in the Caspian Sea area, according to media reports.
At the weekend, the consortium agreed in principle to hand KazMunaigas, the state oil company, a bigger stake in the project to compensate for production delays and cost inflation at the giant field, Russian news agency Interfax reported. The size of the stake to be surrendered to KazMunaigas has not been determined.
The report added that Kazakhstan rejected ExxonMobil's demand that the Kashagan contract be extended beyond 2041 in exchange for allocating KMG more shares. Eni declined to comment on the report.
Kazakhstan earlier set an October 22 deadline for an amicable settlement of the Kashagan row which erupted after the Eni-led group postponed production at the field until 2010. ( FT )