The two companies aim to reach agreement on the main technical and commercial aspects of a joint venture covering the Abay area in the Caspian by the end of 2005.
"This is an important first step in establishing a strategic partnership between us and KazMunayGas in the Caspian," says Per Einar Rettedal, Statoil's country manager for Kazakhstan.
"It is also the intention that this will represent the first step towards collaboration on identifying further exploration and development opportunities in Kazakhstan."
The memorandum was signed in London by Uzakbay S Karabalin, president of KazMunayGas, and Helge Lund, president and CEO of Statoil.
A joint declaration on dialogue and cooperation in the oil and gas sector was signed on 25 May 2004 by the Norwegian and Kazakh prime ministers.
In addition to facilitating a strategic partnership between KazMunayGas and Statoil, this agreement is encouraging specific business collaboration between oil and gas sector companies in the two countries.
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