North Caspian Sea Partners Block Sinopec

BG Group says that five of the six partners in the Republic of Kazakhstan's North Caspian Sea Production Sharing Agreement (NCPSA) have exercised their pre-emptive rights in the sale of BG International's 1/6th interest in the project.

Agip, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch/Shell, Total and ConocoPhillips have exercised their NCPSA pre-emptive rights under the Joint Operating Agreement, while Inpex the sixth continuing partner has decided not, preferring to keep its share unchanged.

As previously announced, BG had entered into two separate transactions, each for the sale of half of its 1/6th interest and for a consideration of $615 million (ie $1.23 billion in aggregate) with CNOOC and Sinopec on March 7, 2003 and March 11, 2003, respectively.

The NCPSA area, all of which is offshore in the Republic's sector of the Caspian Sea, includes the giant Kashagan field and the recently discovered Kalamkas field. It also contains the Kairan and Aktote prospects.

As with the original transactions, the pre-emption transactions will be subject to the approval of the Kazakhstan government.

Upon completion of the pre-emption transactions, the participating interests of the partners will be: Agip Caspian Sea B.V., ExxonMobil Kazakhstan Inc, Shell Kazakhstan Development B.V., and TotalFinaElf E&P Kazakhstan 11/54ths (20.37%); Phillips Petroleum Kazakhstan, Ltd 11/108ths (10.19%); Inpex 1/12ths (8.33%).

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