By Saule Tasboulatova
Participants of the North Caspian Consortium agreed to form one consolidated joint company under the same name that the present operator of the project has – the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC). There will be no agency companies in the structure.
The press release circulated by NCOC reads: “The transition of the Kashagan project from the development stage to the stage of production will give an opportunity of further integration and merging of the operator and agents’ activities for further development of resources within the NCPSA (North Caspian Production Sharing Agreement) framework of activities. In order to use this opportunity in the best way, the consortium participants agreed to gradual transition from present operational model to the unified consolidated joint company. The new company will use in its activity all the best achievements of NCOC and its agents in the field of development, drilling and operations. The new company will work within the unified corporate control system that combines the existing tools and processes, developed by consortium participants.
It is envisaged that the unified consolidated joint company will be called North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC)”.
The press release reads that the integration process and merging is planned for this year. With that “the activities connected with establishment of the unified operational company, will not impact the progress of works related to pipeline repairs, preparation for production re-start, and the completion of Stage 1 remaining scope of work. Until the official announcement of the latest structural changes, the present operational model with the former management will stay operational. The majority of the personnel of the unified operational company will be based in Atyrau. The employees interacting with state agencies will be based in Astana.
No changes are expected in NCPSA or property structure, as the result of planned transition to new model. As of May 1, 2014 Stephane de Mahieu, an Exxon secondee, has replaced Pierre Offant as the managing director of NCOC.
To recall, since January 2009, NCOC was the official operator of the North Caspian project, and the roles of agent companies were divided between four companies: Agip KCO, Shell Development Kashagan B.V., ExxonMobil Kazakhstan Ink. and NCPOC (KMG and Shell).