Expert: China may pay more for ConocoPhillips’ stake in Kashagan

Kazakhstan, Atyrau, June 19 / Trend K.Konyrova /

China may pay an additional amount for the ConocoPhillips stake in the project for the development of the Kashagan field, deputy executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Richard Jones told Trend during the third International Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition entitled 'The development of the Caspian shelf', which takes place in Atyrau on Wednesday.

"China and India are in need of oil and they need to secure a stable supply. So far China is more successful in Kazakhstan, its closest neighbour. I may assume China is willing to pay an additional amount for the stake of ConocoPhillips in Kashagan. Let us see what the Indian company will offer," Jones said, responding to a question about who is more likely to purchase shares in Kashagan.

He recalled that the American firm ConocoPhillips sold its assets not only in Kazakhstan but also in other countries around the world, after deciding to focus on projects in North America, as well as new opportunities to expand its asset portfolio and risk management.

"Today, the situation surrounding the sale is as follows. The winner is the one that is willing to offer more and judging by what I had seen earlier, China may want to pay more for the oil and gas resources which are located quite near in Kazakhstan," Jones said.

According to him, from the point of view of the International Energy Agency, it is important to provide a steady supply of oil for the provision of global energy security

"When we talk about Kashagan, it should be borne in mind that it is a huge project that requires the presence of a large number of companies from different countries to share the risks," Jones said.

Alongside, he said, China owns 25 per cent of the total assets of the oil and gas fields in Kazakhstan.

"China has already established itself as a powerful player in the region. It is quite possible that it also considers the share of ConocoPhillips in Kashagan attractive because the asset as I said earlier is located very close to the country," Jones said.

Vice-President for the exploration of Norway's Statoil Terje Dahl added that Chinese companies are present today in Norway.

"China and Norway are very much in competition with other companies. We have established stringent requirements for foreign companies included in the Norwegian region, the main aspect being ecology," Dahl said.

Kashagan is a large oil and gas field in Kazakhstan located to the north of the Caspian Sea. Its geological reserves according to Kazakh geologists are estimated at 4.8 billion tons of oil.
According to the project's operator, oil reserves total 38 billion barrels, or six billion tons, with about 10 billion barrels of recoverable recourses. Kashagan also has large reserves of natural gas at more than one trillion cubic meters.

Software companies have repeatedly delayed the project start date for commercial production at Kashagan. According to the current schedule, it is expected before the end of this year.

Participants at the Kashagan project are Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Total and KazMunaiGas with equal shares (16.81 per cent each), ConocoPhillips - 8.4 per cent and Japan's Inpex - 7.55 per cent.

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