KazMunaiGas Likely to Develop Project N on its Own

ALMATY, Kazakhstan Oct. 2, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

State-owned oil and gas company OJSC KazMunaiGas is likely to develop the Caspian exploration block 'N' on its own, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sauat Mynbayev said Tuesday.

Mynbayev told journalists that his ministry is holding exclusive talks with KMG over the development of Project N, which had previously been the target of attention from Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) and ConocoPhillips (COP).

The Kazakh government had rejected their bids for exploration rights at the block, saying that they undervalued the block's potential and that the government is likely to revise its estimate of Project N's reserves upwards.

KMG initially estimated that Project N, located about 15 kilometers out in the Kazakh waters of the Caspian, holds about 637 million metric tons - or 4.7 billion barrels - of oil equivalent.

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