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Western companies spoil Chinese plans to join Kashagan deposit exploration

On Friday ENI, Royal Dutch/Shell, TotalFinaElf, ExxonMobil each having 16.67% stake in Kashagan deposit exploration project exercised their pre-emptive purchase right for 50% of BG stake in the deposit, Reuters informed.

Other consortium participants ConocoPhilips and Impex with 8.33% stake each plan to do the same. The consortium partners will also block the sale of another half of BG’s 16.67% stake by May 17.

The analysts suggest that the fear that one of the consortium partners might purchase BG’s stake and therefore get control over others forced the consortium participants to do so although they were not against entrance of Chinese companies in general.

As informed earlier, in March BG announced its intention to sell its 16.67% stake to 2 Chinese companies.

In detail, 8.33% stake could be sold to CNOOC North Caspian Sea Ltd and the balance of 8.33% - to Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corp.

The deal was estimated at USD 1.2bn, or at USD 625 mn for each stake.

(IntelliNews 12.v.03)

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