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    KMG to Spin off Gas Transmission Arm


The move will allow the Kazakh producer to focus on its upstream and downstream activities and prepare it for a potential IPO.

by: Joseph Murphy

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KMG to Spin off Gas Transmission Arm

Kazakhstan's national oil company KazMunayGas (KMG) has asked its creditors for permission to divest its gas pipeline operating arm KazTransGas (KTG), it said on June 5.

KTG operates Kazakhstan's domestic pipeline system and also ships gas from the country and other central Asian states to China. It also acts as a trader, having reached a deal in 2017 to sell 5bn m3/yr to China's PetroChina. A year later the pair agreed to double the amount.

The plan, which also requires approval from state bodies, is to transfer KTG to Kazakhstan's sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna. This will allow KMG to focus on exploration and production, refining and petrochemical activities and help prepare the company for a potential initial public offering (IPO), its CEO Alik Aidarbayev said.

Kazakhstan first proposed taking KMG public in 2016, at a time when the country's budget was under significant strain as a result of low oil prices. But the offering has been repeatedly delayed. Following another collapse in oil prices in March, the country's privatisation drive appears to be gaining traction once again.