ASTANA (Reuters) - Kazakhstan hopes to settle a profit sharing dispute with global energy companies developing the Karachaganak gas condensate field by June, its deputy energy minister said on Friday, after talks were repeatedly extended.
Eni and Shell have the biggest stakes in the Karachaganak project, which they jointly operate.
“Negotiations on the Karachaganak project are rather active, we meet almost daily, our last meeting was yesterday,” Magzum Mirzagaliyev told reporters.
“Because the talks are rather large scale... we have decided to extend the memorandum (on negotiations) until May or June.”
Kazakhstan filed a $1.6 billion claim against foreign firms developing the Karachaganak gas condensate field in 2015, one of the companies has said. The Energy Ministry has said the row was over how each party’s share of the field’s output was calculated.
Eni and Shell each own 29.25 percent of the Karachaganak project in northwest Kazakhstan, while Kazakhstan’s KazMunayGaz owns 10 percent, Chevron Corp has 18 percent and Lukoil owns 13.5 percent.
Last September, Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev told Reuters the former Soviet republic had received an offer from the consortium, but considered it insufficient.
Kazakhstan had previously planned to conclude the talks by the end of last year and then by the end of the first quarter.
Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Susan Fenton