ASTANA (Reuters) - British energy firm BG is seeking to recover more than $1 billion in oil export duty paid to Kazakhstan through an international arbitration court, Kazakh Energy Minister Sauat Mynbayev said Tuesday.
BG is one of the operators of the Karachaganak gas condensate field in Western Kazakhstan. Other shareholders in the project are Eni, Chevron and LUKOIL.
“I think it’s just over $1 billion,” Mynbayev told reporters. “I think there will be a negotiation process that will hopefully result in a solution.”
Kazakhstan introduced the oil export duty in May 2008 as oil prices were approaching record highs and set it to zero in January 2009 after prices plunged.
Most foreign companies have been exempt from the levy but the government said the Karachaganak project was not. Karachaganak operators objected but paid the duty.
A source close to the case told Reuters the dispute involved a total of $1.4 billion in export duty, taxes and environmental fees paid by the Karachaganak consortium.
The case had been filed to the London-based court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, the source said.
Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Additional reporting by Katya Golubkova in Moscow; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Rupert Winchester