Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Ministry has officially confirmed that KazMunaiGas national company will start developing Abay field in Kazakhstan's sector of the Caspian Sea with a new partner, Tengrinews.kz reports citing Oil and Gas Minister Sauat Mynbayev.
"KazMunaiGas will work on developing this block with a different partner. I cannot give any more details right now," the Minister said on the sidelines of the government meeting. Meanwhile, according to the Minister, Kazakhstan did not bear any costs after withdrawal of Statoil from the project.
Earlier Kapital.kz reported that on February 11, 2013 Statoil notified Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Ministry on its decision to withdraw from Abay project. According to the website, the block is located in the Kazakhstan sector of the Caspian Sea 60-70 km north-west of Buzachi shoreline. The sea is 8-10m deep above the field. Geological reserves of hydrocarbons at Abay block are estimated at 337 million tons of oil equivalent.
According to Kazakhstan legislation, KazMunaiGas has a right for 50-percent stake in any new project in the Caspian shelf and Statoil had to undertake all the costs at the exploration stage, according to their agreement.