ConocoPhillips inks deal to explore offshore Kazakhstan block

June 11. Houston Business Journal

ConocoPhillips has signed an agreement with JSC National Co. KazMunayGas and Mubadala Development Co. PJSC to jointly explore and develop the Nursultan block offshore Kazakhstan.

The Houston energy giant will share a 49 percent interest in the contract with Mubadala, while KazMunayGas will hold the majority interest.

The project will be operated by Kazakh LLP, which will be jointly owned by ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and the other companies.

The Nursultan block is located in the Caspian Sea about 18 miles from Aktu, Kazakhstan. The block covers about 5,000 square miles and, according to government estimates, is considered highly prospective for both oil and gas.

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ConocoPhillips, Mubadala sign Kazakh offshore deal

June 11. Reuters. SAN FRANCISCO

ConocoPhillips has signed a deal to develop a Kazakhstan offshore field along with Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company and the state operator, the U.S. oil company said on Thursday.

The “N” block, covering 8,100 square kilometers (3,100 sq miles) and located 30 kilometers (19 miles) off the Caspian seaport of Aktau, joins a growing number of energy projects in Kazakhstan. Chevron Corp, for one, produces more than a tenth of its output in the country.

ConocoPhillips and Mubadala signed a preliminary agreement last October, and then paid Kazakhstan a $100 million signing bonus a few months later, according to officials.

Conoco and Mubadala will each hold 24.5 percent in the block previously known as Nursultan, which is estimated to hold 270 million tonnes of oil in recoverable reserves, according to majority owner and state energy firm KazMunaiGas.

KazMunaiGas Chief Executive Kairgeldy Kabyldin said in December they planned to launch commercial production in 2016 if all reserve estimates were confirmed, and that foreign partners would finance all exploration costs.