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BBC Monitoring Service: Kazakhstan “discontent” with US oil giant over perceived snub of Kashagan talks

Published: Sep 05, 2007
Excerpt from report by Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency

Astana, 5 September: A representative of the ConocoPhillips [US oil company] has been removed from regular talks on the Kashagan project, which were held in Astana on Wednesday [5 September].

An informed Kazakh source has told Interfax-Kazakhstan that ConocoPhillips sent to the talks “a representative of lower rank than other contractors”.

The companies participating in Agip KCO [consortium developing Kashagan. which includes Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp, Total, ConocoPhillips, Japan’s Inpex Holdings Inc and Kazakh state oil and gas company KazMunayGaz] were represented by vice-presidents.

“We think the fact that ConocoPhillips sent to the talks a representative lower in rank than other contractors indicates that it does not view Kashagan as a serious asset. Kazakhstan expresses its discontent over this,” he said.

“The deadline set for the companies to present their proposals on the settlement of the disputes on this project expires today. The sides have 60 days to make a decision on the project,” the source said.

“If the sides do not work out proposals during this period, the case will go to the court of arbitration,” he said.

The meeting was held behind closed doors.

[Passage omitted: known facts on the dispute over Kashagan; Kazakhstan may seek to strip Italian ENI of project status]

Source: Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency, Almaty, in Russian 0631 gmt 5 Sep 07

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