India’s ONGC gets stake in Kazakh oil block

January 24th, 2009 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha PatilNew Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) India’s ONGC and its partner Lakshmi N. Mittal Saturday signed an agreement with Kazakhstan’s national oil company for a stake in a block in the Caspian oil fields of the Central Asian country.The agreement, which comes four years after an initial deal, was signed by ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL) managing director R.S. Butola and KazMunaiGaz (KMG) president Kairgeldy Kabyldin, in the presence of Indian President Pratibha Patil and her Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The agreement is for exploration of hydrocarbons in offshore Satpavev block, where, according to sources, ONGC Mittal Energy Ltd. (OMEL) - a joint venture between OVL and Mittal Energy - has been offered a 25 percent share.

OVL - the overseas arm of state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) - and KMG had signed a memorandum of understanding in February 2005. It was followed by protracted negotiations on the share of the Indian venture in the block.

Following the latest deal, an exploration and production contract will have to be signed which will lay down the share of the participating companies.

The Satpayev block, situated in the Pre-Caspian Basin of Kazakhstan in Caspian Sea, covers an area of 1,582 sq km and is at a water depth of 5-10 m, said an ONGC press release.

It is situated in a highly promising region of North Caspian Sea and is in close proximity to major fields, like Karazhanbas, Kalamkas, Kashagan and Donga, where significant quantum of oil has been discovered.

Kazakhstan has the Caspian region’s largest recoverable crude oil reserves and its production accounts for half of the currently being produced from the Caspian Sea region.

The Central Asian country is a major hydrocarbon producer, contributing 3.2 percent of oil and 1.1 percent of gas of the world’s proven reserve.

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