Kazakhstan Wants Kashagan Talks to End By Nov 30

ALMATY, Kazakhstan Nov 2, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Talks between the Kazakh government and Italy's Eni SpA (E) -led Kashagan consortium about production delays and rising costs at the giant Kashagan oil field have to end by Nov. 30, Interfax news agency quoted a senior Kazakh official as saying Friday.

"The memorandum signed on Oct. 22 between KazMunaiGas and subcontractors stipulates that talks to define specific mechanisms for restoration of the economic balance must end by Nov. 30 this year," Deputy Finance Minister Daulet Yergozhin was quoted by Interfax as saying.

Yergozhin said that the finance minister will raise the "need to take adequate measures to safeguard the republic's economic interests" if there's no agreement between the parties involved in the talks by then.

Kazakhstan won't approve the consortium's increased budget, which it says has risen to $136 billion from $57 billion and is annoyed about the delays in production at Kashagan, a massive oil field in the Caspian Sea. The government is also seeking to increase state oil and gas firm Kazmunaigas' role in the project.

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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