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ASTANA, June 16 The estimated cost of a project
to boost output at the Karachaganak gas condensate field in
Kazakhstan has been halved from last year's $9 billion, a senior
Kazakh energy official said on Friday.
The cost may be reduced even further, said Murat Zhurebekov,
chief executive of PSA LLC, a unit of state energy firm
KazMunayGaz tasked with representing the Central Asian nation in
some of its largest joint ventures with global majors.
Zhurebekov did not say how the costs estimate had been
revised, but said the review reflected lower crude prices.
Kazakhstan is seeking $1.6 billion from the consortium of
foreign investors operating Karachaganak, according to a 2016
report by Lukoil. The Astana government has said the dispute was
about calculations of the parties' shares in the field's output.
But Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev, who spoke to reporters
separately on Friday, said the dispute, which Kazakhstan has
taken to international arbitration, would have no effect on the
project which aims to ensure that the field maintains its peak
output for a longer period.
"I have met a delegation of the Karachaganak consortium
today," he said. "They do not link these two issues."
Eni and Royal Dutch Shell each own 29.25
percent of the Karachaganak project in northwest Kazakhstan,
which they jointly operate. Kazakh state-owned KazMunayGaz
owns 10 percent, Chevron Corp 18 percent and
Lukoil 13.5 percent.
One of the world's largest oil and gas deposits,
Karachaganak contains 1.2 billion tonnes of oil and gas
condensate and more than 1.35 trillion cubic metres of gas. It
produced 139.7 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2016, down
1.4 percent from a year earlier.
(Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva and Mariya Gordeyeva; Writing
by Olzhas Auyezov,; Editing by Dmitry Solovyov and David Evans)