Eni, Kazakhstan's energy ministry and KazMunayGas have inked a joint oil and gas exploration and production accord covering the Abay area of the Caspian Sea, boosting Eni's activities in the Central Asian republic, the Italian major said in a statement on Friday.
The Abay block "is estimated to have significant hydrocarbons potential" and is located in the northern part of the Kazakhstan sector of the Caspian Sea, approximately 50 kilometres from the coast in a water depth of less than 10 metres, the statement said.
Eni and KMG will each hold a 50 percent share in the Abay block and Eni will carry KazMunayGas’s share of the costs during the exploration period, the statement added.
The block will be operated by the Isatay Operating Company which is equally owned by Eni and KMG, and which also operates the Isatay block, according to the statement.
The protocol is the first under which one Joint Company will operate two projects, and will consolidate Eni's strategic alliance with its "key partner" KazMunayGas, the statement underlined.
"The (Istay Operating) 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," said the statement.
Eni has been active in Kazakhstan since the early 1990s. It co-operates the Karachaganak field (FPSA) and is a partner in the North Caspian Sea Production Sharing Agreement for the giant Kashagan Field, the statement noted.
Together with national company KazMunayGas, Eni is the joint subsoil user and joint operator of the Isatay offshore exploration block and is currently producing 170 kboed (kilo barrel of oil equivalent), in Kazakhstan, it said.
Eni is also in the process of developing a renewable energy project, Badamsha, a 48 Megawatt wind farm located North West of Kazakhstan, the statement concluded.