KazMunayGas to Call for Caspian Seismic Tender in March

KazMunayGas is planning to call for tenders for seismic work on the Zhambai South and South Zaburunye structures in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea in March 2003.

The Company is currently awaiting approval from the Ministry for the Environment to begin seismic studies. Local ecological specialists acknowledged that the possible ecological impact of the oil operations was minimal.

Lukoil will fully finance exploration work in a joint project with KazMunayGas to develop oil and gas structures in the northern part of the Caspian Sea. Bakytzhan Khasanov, the company's managing director for offshore projects, noted that according to preliminary calculations the exploration work would cost $150 million - $170 million. At the initial stage it is planned to carry out seismic research and to drill from two to four exploration wells.

A memorandum of mutual understanding for cooperation to develop and produce hydrocarbons in the Kazakh and Russian sectors of the Caspian was signed in Almaty in the first half of February 2003. The memorandum calls for work to be carried out on the Khvolynsky and Central fields in the Russian sector of the Caspian and the Tubkaragan field in the Kazakh sector.