ConocoPhillips closes on $5.4 billion sale of Kashagan interest

ConocoPhillips has closed on its sale of 8.4% interest in the North Caspian Sea production-sharing agreement to Kazakhstan state oil company KazMunayGas for $5.4 billion.

ConocoPhillips has closed on its sale of 8.4% interest in the North Caspian Sea production-sharing agreement to Kazakhstan state oil company KazMunayGas for $5.4 billion.

ConocoPhillips reaffirmed its intent to divest noncore assets as an independent exploration and production company, labeling the sale as a “milestone” in its plan. Proceeds from the sale will be available, in part, for investments in the company’s organic growth programs.

ConocoPhillips had previously agreed to sell the stake to ONGC Videsh Ltd. in November 2012 for $5 billion, but the Kazakhstan Ministry of Oil & Gas exercised its right under the Subsoil Law of Kazakhstan to preempt the sale (OGJ Online, Nov. 27, 2012; July 3, 2013).

MOG designated KMG as the purchasing entity. Timur Kulibayev, former first vice-president of KMG, said in October 2012 that Kashagan will eventually be expanded and produce 1.5 million b/d when it reaches full capacity (OGJ Online, Oct. 22, 2012).

North Caspian Operating Co. BV started oil and gas production from Kashagan in September. The field is the North Caspian Sea’s largest oil accumulation with reserves of 35 billion bbl OOIP with 9-13 billion bbl recoverable (OGJ Online, Sept. 11, 2013).

ConocoPhillips was part of the Eni SPA-led consortium NCOC, which, in 2008, replaced the Agip KCO consortium as operator of Kashagan. Since January 2009, the NCOC has been comprised of KazMunayGaz, Eni, Total SA, ExxonMobil Corp., and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, each holding 16.81%; ConocoPhillips 8.40%; and Inpex 7.55%.

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