KazMunaiGas yet to decide on buying ConocoPhillips stake in Kashagan project

Kazakhstan's national oil company KazMunaiGas yesterday said that it is yet to decide on buying ConocoPhillip's stake in the massive Kashagan oil field, which the US oil major in November agreed to sell to ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) for $5 billion.

Kazakhstan has not refused its pre-emptive right to buy ConocoPhiilips 8.4-per cent stake in the Kashagan oilfield KazMunaiGas said in a statement.

Late last month, international partners of North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC), which is developing the Kashagan oilfield, did not exercise their pre-emptive rights to buy the stake, which expired on 25 January this year.

Shareholders of the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) witheld purchasing ConocoPhillips shares in favour of the Indian ONGC Videsh Limited. However, this does not mean that Kazakhstan waived its pre-emptive right of purchase as provided by the country's legislation, KazMunaiGas said in the statement.

Apart from ConocoPhiilips, the partners of Kashagan project are seven global oil and gas giants that include Eni SpA, Total SA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, ExxonMobil Inc, and KazMunaiGaz each holding 16.8-per cent stake, with the remaining 7.6 per cent held by Japan's Inpex Corp.

Kazakh government now has till end of July to decide on the deal.