Lukoil and KazMunayGas Team Up to Explore Caspian Sea

Lukoil and KazMunayGas have teamed up to explore an offshore block in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian, according to Lukoil president Vagit Alekperov. "The basic principles will be worked out over the next three months and then we can begin work on the contract,"

"We are sure that the block which will now be studied is promising and we hope to open it up (to production)," he added. "It is located in the central part of the Kazakh sector of the Caspian shelf and, by preliminary forecasts based on its size and by analogy with the geology of neighboring blocks, its recoverable reserves are a little over 100 million tons."

Lukoil plans to invest at least $150 million to $170 million in exploring the offshore block which adjoins the Khvalynskoye and Tsentralnoye structures.

"We hope those areas selected for geological exploration have large prospects, regarding eventual discovery of oil and gas deposits," Alekperov said after signing a memorandum of understanding with KazMunayGas president, Lyazzat Kiinov on joint exploration work.

Initially, Lukoil will provide funding for the project. Once a commercial discovery has been made and the project moves to the production phase, the companies will finance the development equally.