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Kazakhstan to Detain Majority Shares in All New Pipelines

Friday 15 June 2012

ASTANA (Bloomberg) – Kazakhstan will hold majority stakes in new, large oil and natural-gas pipelines, according to a law adopted by parliament.

“The government must have no less than 51% in any new pipelines,” Oil and Gas Minister Sauat Mynbayev told reporters today in the capital, Astana. The legislation must be signed by the president before coming into force.

The Kazakh law may affect the $39 billion Kashagan project being developed by Eni SpA (ENI), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) because the partners plan a pipe to link a treatment plant in Atyrau with Kuryk port, Mynbayev said. The first phase of production at Kashagan, the world’s biggest oil discovery in 40 years, is scheduled to begin by the end of 2012 or early 2013, with output expected initially at around 370,000 barrels per day and rising to 450,000 bpd.

The second-biggest oil producer in the CIS and Central Asia’s largest economy, Kazakhstan is seeking more control over its energy wealth as international companies flock to tap its oil and gas fields.

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