Kazakh President Orders a Review of Kashagan Expansion Proposals

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered a review of plans to expand the Kashagan oilfield after venture partners including Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) sought to extend a production deal.

Nazarbayev discussed oil and gas development in the country at a meeting today in Astana with officials including his Chief of Staff Karim Massimov and Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov, according to a statement published on his website.

Umirzak Shukeev, head of the sovereign wealth fund, Sauat Mynbayev, the oil and gas minister, Lyazzat Kiinov, KazMunaiGaz National Co.’s chief, and Timur Kulibayev, chairman of the nation’s biggest business group Atameken, also attended.

Exxon and Shell are seeking to extend a production-sharing contract at the Kashagan project in the Caspian Sea for 20 years, two people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified as the talks are confidential, said last month.

The $46 billion development, touted as the world’s biggest discovery in four decades when found, is due to reach commercial oil output no later than June 2013. Nazarbayev also ordered a study into building a gas refinery and pipeline from the Karachaganak field to central Kazakhstan and crude shipment from Russia to the Pavlodar refinery, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nariman Gizitdinov in Almaty at ngizitdinov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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