Kazakhstan Seeks Share of Nations Energy Assets

China International Trust & Investment Corp (CITIC) may have to sell to the Kazakhstan government part of the stake in oil assets it is seeking to buy from Canada's Nations Energy Co in order to secure the deal, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

State-owned conglomerate CITIC and Nations Energy are aiming to sign an agreement on the sale of US$1.91 billion worth of assets in Kazakhstan by Dec 20, when senior government officials from China, Kazakhstan and Russia are scheduled to meet in Beijing, the newspaper said.

"The biggest uncertainty of the deal is how much of the oil assets CITIC agrees to sell back to the Kazakhstan government. If both parties agree on this issue, the deal will have no problem going ahead," the report cited the unnamed source as saying.

In October, CITIC agreed to acquire the Kazakh assets following months of negotiations. The deal would give CITIC control of the Karazhanbas oil field in western Kazakhstan, which has proven reserves of more than 340 mln barrels of crude oil, the report said.

But the deal was thrown into doubt when Kazakh Oil and Energy Minister Baktykozha Izmukhambetov said in televised remarks that he intended to block the transaction.

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