BG says determined to sell Kashagan oilfield stake

05.10.04 11:08
/REUTERS, October 5, 04/ - Britain's BG said on Tuesday it would press ahead with moves to sell its stake in the giant Kashagan oilfield off Kazakhstan's Caspian Sea coast, despite a long-running struggle to close the deal. "We are committed to selling our equity stake," BG country manager for Kazakhstan Christine McNamara told Reuters at an oil and gas exhibition in Almaty. BG agreed to sell its 16.67 percent stake in Kashagan -- the biggest oil discovery in decades -- to two Chinese firms in March 2003. That was scuppered by five of the six consortium members exercising a pre-emptive right to buy, only for the Kazakh state to say it believed it had first pickings. Kazakhstan has pledged to hold on to the stake if it buys it, denying speculation that it would sell it on at a higher price to China. Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik has said Kazakhstan would pay in the order of $1 billion for the stake. BG is in talks with the other members of the North Caspian Production Sharing Agreement -- ENI, Royal Dutch/Shell, ExxonMobil, Total ConocoPhillips, and Japan's Inpex - over the sale. It is also in negotiations with Kazakhstan and held the last round of talks in London in July. [2004-10-05]