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Karabalin Appointed Kazakh Oil Minister to Replace Mynbayev

Uzakbai Karabalin, the former chief of state-run explorer KazMunaiGaz National Co., replaced Sauat Mynbayev as oil and gas minister as the country acquires a further stake in the Kashagan project.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered the change today, according to a statement published on his website. Mynbayev, who has headed the ministry since March 2010, will replace Lyazzat Kiinov as chief executive officer at KazMunaiGaz, Interfax reported today, citing unnamed sources.

Kazakhstan will exercise its right of first refusal and acquire the 8.4 percent stake held by ConocoPhillips (COP) in Kashagan, the country’s biggest oil field, the government said yesterday. KazMunaiGaz will carry out the purchase.

China National Petroleum Corp. will acquire an 8.33 percent holding in Kashagan from KazMunaiGaz for about $5 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said June 28.

Karabalin led KazMunaiGaz in 2008 when Kazakhstan doubled its stake in Kashagan to 16.81 percent, giving the government a larger share in future profit and resolving a dispute with partners over delays and cost overruns.

He is currently general director of the Kazakh Institute of Oil & Gas JSC.

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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