CNPC Takes Another Stake in North Buzachi Field

CNPC has agreed to buy ChevronTexaco's 65-percent stake in Kazakhstan's North Buzachi oilfield as part of a deal worth close to $200 million.

The deal would boost CNPC's energy portfolio in Kazakhstan, one of the key strategic areas in China's drive to secure oil and gas assets overseas as domestic oil reserves decline and demand grows fastest in the world.

The deal was signed with ChevronTexaco in August, after CNPC had agreed earlier to buy a 35-percent stake in the field from Saudi firm Nimr Petroleum. (See Rigzone News CNPC Acquires Stake in North Buzachi Field).

The two stake purchases were worth close to $200 million. The deal is subject to approval by the Kazakh government and CNPC may have to sell a stake to a firm linked to the Kazakh government.

The North Buzachi field has recoverable reserves of about 70 million tons, or about 510 million barrels, and is currently producing 8,000 barrels per day (bpd).

CNPC will drill more production wells and aims for peak production of two million tons a year (40,000 bpd).

The crude, a low-sulphur but heavy grade, could feed into a planned 1,750 mile crude oil pipeline running from Kazakhstan to its border with China.

CNPC also holds about 86 percent of CNPC-Aktobenmunaigas, the third largest Kazakh crude producer expected to produce 5.2 million tons, or 100,000 bpd, in 2003.