China buys 50% stake in Kazakh Caspian oil venture

September 30. Central Asia Newswire

China buys 50% stake in Kazakh Caspian oil ventureIndia’s Mittal Investments has sold its holdings in a joint Caspian oil venture to a Chinese buyer after Mittal partner Lukoil declined to buy the stake.

“Mittal Investments Sarl is in the process of completing the sale of its 50 percent stake in Caspian Investment Resources,” a company spokesperson told The Times of India on Wednesday.

The company did not divulge how much the buyer China National Petroleum and Chemical Corp (CNPC) was paying, but Mittal Investments originally purchased the stake from Lukoil for around $980 million in 2007.

Although Lukoil Overseas had pre-emptive rights to buy the stakes, the Russian company declined the offer.

Their Caspian Investment Resources venture owns a 50 percent stake to develop four oil and gas fields in Kazakhstan: Alibekmola and Kozhasai (with KazMunayGas), Arman (with Shell) and North Buzachi (with Chinese CNPC).

Collectively the fields yielded 4.7 million metric tons of oil in 2009. The venture also has a 25 percent ownership in two fields in the northern Caspian with proven hydrocarbon reserves of 269.6 million barrels.

Mittal Investments, owned by steel tycoon and world’s fifth-wealthiest man Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, has been exiting most of its oil investments around the world since 2008, according to The Times of India.

Included among these was an exploration block in Turkmenistan.