BG confident of resolution to Kazakhstan dispute

July 26. Reuters. LONDON

BG confident of resolution to Kazakhstan disputeBG Group is confident of resolving a dispute with Kazakhstan over the Karachaganak gas project before the end of the year, the British oil and gas firm’s chief executive said.

“There are intensive negotiations ongoing. I believe that the discussions will lead to a conclusion and I expect that to be within this year, perhaps the back end of this year,” CEO Frank Chapman said in a call with reporters on Tuesday.

Kazakhstan has accused the consortium, of which BG is part and which runs the Karachaganak field, of violating immigration laws and overstating costs by $1.3 billion (792.7 million pounds) as the government seeks a stake in the giant oil and gas field in the west of the oil-rich country.

Chapman declined to comment on the specifics of the negotiations but said there was an “enormous amount of good will.”

Italy’s ENI and Britain’s BG Group are the biggest shareholders in the international consortium that runs the project, with a 32.5 percent stake each. U.S. major Chevron has 20 percent and Russia’s LUKOIL  15 percent.

Sources told Reuters in June that the foreign owners had agreed to cede a 10 percent stake and end a protracted dispute that has delayed expansion of the field.