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    Eni Lands Kazakh Caspian Block


The offshore block will be brought under the umbrella of the Isatay Operating Company

by: William Powell

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Eni Lands Kazakh Caspian Block

Italian explorer Eni has obtained the hydrocarbon exploration rights to a block offshore Kazakhstan, it said July 5, also claiming a corporate 'first'. 

The Abay block is in the northern, oil-prone  part of the Kazakhstan sector of the Caspian Sea, about 50 km from the coast in less than 10 metres of water. The block is estimated to have significant potential for hydrocarbon resources.

Eni and state Kazmunaigaz will each hold half, and Eni will carry KazMunayGas's share of the costs during the exploration period. The block will be operated by the Isatay Operating Company, equally owned by Eni and KMG, that also operates the Isatay block, in order to maximise synergies and operation efficiencies.

This is the first time that a joint company will operate two projects. The company will benefit from Eni's proprietary technologies as a global leader in terms of exploration and reduced "time to market" project's development, with extensive experience in challenging technical and environmental areas such as the Caspian Basin.

This new project will further expand Eni's activities in Kazakhstan and consolidate the strategic alliance with KazMunayGas, a key partner for Eni, it said.

Eni co-operates the country's giant Karachaganak gas and condensate field. It is also signatoryr to the production-sharing agreement for the giant Kashagan oil field, where the high concentration of sulphur ate through subsea pipelines, causing costly and lengthy delays to production soon after initial start-up.