Source: China is ready to pay three-fold more than announced for ConocoPhillips’s share in Kashagan

Kazakhstan, Astana, June 27 / Trend, D. Mukhtarov /

China is ready to pay three times more than announced for the share of the U.S. company ConocoPhillips in the Kashagan field development project in Kazakhstan, a source in the oil and gas circles said in an interview with Trend today.

"China is ready to pay three-fold more than announced for a share of the U.S. company ConocoPhillips in the Kashagan field development project," a source familiar with the negotiations on the issue said on condition of anonymity. "The matter rests in the amount equal to Kazakhstan's debt to China, which is about $15 billion."

In November, last year, ConocoPhillips announced its intention to sell its share in Kazakhstan's Kashagan field development project to the Indian state oil company ONGC, responsible for international projects, ONGC Videsh Limited. The cost of the deal is over $5 billion.

"Perhaps, it will be officially announced that China will join the Kashagan project next week, in early July by offering a higher price than India," a source said.

Moreover, the oil and gas circles have the information that as an addition, China proposed Kazakhstan a free access to the Chinese port of Haylugan with a direct access to the Pacific Ocean.

According to a source, two foreign companies - Shell and ENI, which are shareholders of NCOC international consortium, developing "Kashagan" are negotiating the supply of future Kashagan oil to the Chinese market, namely at a refinery in Sichuan.

Kashagan is one of the largest fields in the north of the Caspian Sea with an estimated geological oil reserve of 4.8 billion tons. Its total oil reserves are 38 billion barrels (six billion tons), with a recoverable volume of about 10 billion barrels. Natural gas reserves are estimated at over one trillion cubic meters.

The North-Caspian project is being implemented under a production sharing agreement on the North Caspian Sea, signed Nov. 18, 1997, and includes the fields of Kashagan, Kairan, Aktoty, Kalamkas. Kashagan field is one of the largest fields in the world opened in the last 30 years with geological oil reserves of 4.8 billion tons.

The North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) is the only operator of the North-Caspian project. Its shareholders are Agip Caspian Sea BV (16.81 per cent), KMG Kashagan B.V. (16.81 per cent), ConocoPhillips North Caspian Ltd. (8.4 per cent), ExxonMobil Kazakhstan Inc., (16.81 per cent), Inpex North Caspian Sea Ltd. (7.56 per cent), Shell Kazakhstan Development BV (16.81 per cent) and Total EP Kazakhstan (16.81 per cent).

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