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Kazakhs interested in both Oman and BP stakes in CPC

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Wed 08 Oct, 2008 05:19

 

ALMATY (Reuters) – Kazakhstan is interested in acquiring stakes belonging to both Britain’s BP and Oman in a key Caspian Sea pipeline pumping Kazakh crude to the Black Sea, a senior Kazakh official said on Wednesday.

BP said last month it may sell its stake in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) if it fails to agree with Russia on terms for expanding the line. Another consortium member, Gulf Arab state Oman, has also said it was looking to sell its stake.

Nurlan Balgimbayev, adviser to President Nursultan Nazarbayev, said on the sidelines of an oil and gas conference that Kazakhstan was eying both of those stakes.

“Yes, those stakes are interesting to Kazakhstan,” he told reporters. Previously Kazakhstan expressed separate interest in the assets and it has been unclear if it wanted to build up a combined stake.

BP’s total share in CPC is about 6.6 percent and Oman has about 7 percent.

Most of the shareholders of the Chevron-led pipeline, which runs to the major Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, have agreed on the expansion terms demanded by Russia, which owns 24 percent in the consortium as a host state.

BP, the only shareholder that still opposes the terms, said it was considering selling the stake if no compromise was found.

Besides BP and Chevron, its private shareholders include Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil and Russia’s two largest oil producers, Rosneft and LUKOIL .

CPC has been shipping oil since 2001. It pumps up to 750,000 barrels per day to Russia for re-export to the Mediterranean.

(Reporting by Amie Ferris-Rotman and Masha Gordeyeva; Writing by Maria Golovnina; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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