/UPDATED/ Kazakhs to pay $615 mln for half BG's Kashagan stake

28.01.05 11:08
/REUTERS, Astana, Raushan Nurshayeva, January 28, 05/ - Kazakhstan will pay $615 m. for 50 percent of BG's 16.67 percent stake in the giant Kashagan offshore oilfield in the Caspian Sea, the Kazakh energy minister said on Friday, an amount which is half the stake's estimated market value. "I have said earlier that the price for BG's 16.67 percent stake, as defined by the market, is $1.23 billion," Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Vladimir Shkolnik told journalists after announcing the agreed deal. Before the government estimated the whole stake of BG in Kashagan at $1.36 bn. Speaking about sources of financing, Shkolnik said it might be borrowings, funds of the state budget of funds of Kazmunaygas. On Friday in senate Shkolnik said shareholders of Kashagan consortium had agreed to sell half of BG's stake to Kazakhstan. "They (shareholders) met us halfway. They agreed to sell 50% of this stake. Government buys it", - said Shkolnik to senators. "I hope we manage to make this deal. This is coming of the very big asset back to the country", - he added. In 2004 Kazakhstan government declared about its right for priority purchase of BG's stake in the project. However several shareholders of the consortium consisting of Italian Eni, French Total, English-Dutch RoyalDutch/Shell, American ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil and Japanese Inpex doubted in it. Since that time the sides hold negotiations. Industrial extraction of oil from Kashagan has been postponed until 2008. Kazakhstan intends to increase oil output 3 times due to development of Kashagan and other Caspian blocks up to 150 m. tonnes every year by 2015 having become one of ten biggest oil producing countries. As Shkolnik says, in 2005, taking into account "real plans of companies", 62.0-63.0 m. tonnes of oil will be extracted in Kazakhstan in comparison with 59.4 m one year before. [2005-01-28]