Total & KazMunaiGaz Discussing New Caspian Projects

Total and KazMunaiGaz, the state gas company of Kazakhstan, are in discussions on new oil and gas development projects in the Caspian Sea. "We are looking closely at the possibility of developing reserves in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea and plan to use all opportunities to enter into new Caspian projects," according to Total's general director Pascal Laluel.

During the latter part of 2003 the Kazakhstan government plans a licensing round that will include 200 exploration blocks in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea. KazMunaiGaz has been granted a 50% stake in every new oil project. Total is already involved in one of the largest Caspian projects, Kashagan, where it increased its stake to 20.37% from 16.67% recently through a transaction with BG Group.