KazakOil receiving many offers for partnership

Apr 15, 1998 02:00 AM

International oil companies are bombarding Kazakhstan's state oil company KazakOil with offers to become its strategic partner. KazakOil has received proposals of partnership from more than 10 foreign suitors. These include Texaco -- which is involved in the giant Karachaganak gas and condensate field -- Chevron, Amoco, which already has an alliance with KazakOil for the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), Unocal, Shell and Japan National Oil Co.
"We never expected such interest," KazakOil President Baltabek Kuandykov said.
The idea of taking a foreign partner -- or partners -- arose at around the same time as Kazakhstan decided to suspend its privatisation program because of unfavourable market conditions.
Analysts say that by choosing a Western partner, Kazakhstan will further reduce its reliance on Russia.
According to Kazakh Prime Minister Nulran Balgimbaev, privatisation of the country's oil sector will be suspended until next year, at least.
This is to give the government time to choose a strategic partner for KazakOil, as well as alternative routes for pipelines to world markets.

Source: not available
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