Kazakh Oil and Gas Minister Sauat Mynbayev confirmed that the Norwegian Statoil is leaving the Abai project in the Caspian Sea, neftegaz.ru reports.
“KazMunayGas will consider the issue of developing the Abai block with other partners,” Mynbayev said.”I cannot comment on the name of the partner yet.”
Mynbaev said that Kazakhstan has not incur any losses due to Statoil's withdrawal from the project, since the Norwegian company covered all the costs. The cost amount wasn’t’ specified by the minister.
Statoil has officially informed Kazakhstan on February 11 about its intention to withdraw from the Abai project in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea.
In March 2011, KazMunayGas, the Kazakh national oil and gas company and Statoil signed an Agreement of Principle on Abai, located in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea, 65-70 km from the Bouzachi peninsula at a depth of 8 to10 meters. Abai’s hydrocarbons-in-place are estimated at 337mln tons of oil equivalent.
According to the agreement, the parties planned to perform seismic surveys, data acquisition and drilling of an exploration well. The parties also agreed on Statoil's participation in the building of a jack-up rig which will be used in future off shore exploration activites.
The first memorandum of understanding on possible cooperation on Abai was signed between KazMunayGas national company and Statoil on June 30, 2005.
In June 2010, the parties signed a memorandum of understainding, as part of the Fourth International Investment Summit in Almaty.
KazMunayGas is Kazakhstan's national exploration, production, processing and transportation operator. All the shares belong to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna.
Statoil is an international oil company operating in more than 40 countries. The company is one of the world's largest exporters of crude oil. It is also the largest operator of deep-water fields, the second largest exporter of gas to Europe and the largest seller of oil products in Scandinavia. Statoil opened its office in Astana in 2004.