TotalFinaElf Wants to Increase Presence in Caspian Sea

TotalFinaElf is making plans to participate in the development of the Kurmangazy oil field in Kazakhstan's sector of the northern Caspian Sea. The local media reports that Kazakhstan will sell rights to develop the oil field in the very near future. Shell, Statoil and TotalFinaElf are reported to have already submitted proposals to participate in developing Kurmangazy.

Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement last Monday setting out specific geographical coordinates for dividing the northern part of the sea. The agreement gives ownership of Kurmangazy, with its estimated reserves of around 1.1 billion barrels, to Kazakhstan.

TotalFinaElf holds a 14.3% stake in Kazakhstan North Caspian Operating Co., the production consortium led by Eni that is developing the Kashagan field on the North Caspian coast. TotalFinaElf is in talks to buy stakes of 9.5% from BP and 4.76% from Statoil, respectively, which would raise its own shareholding to 28.6%

TotalFinaElf President Thierry Demarre told reporters after a meeting with Kazakh Prime Minister Imangali Tasmagambetov that "we are satisfied with the exploration results from the Kashagan Field and we will make every effort to develop this project further."