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Kazakhstan May Transfer Satpayev Block Stake to ONGC by February

Kazakhstan plans to transfer a 25 percent stake in the Satpayev area in the Caspian Sea to Oil & Natural Gas Corp. by February, S. Sundareshan, India’s oil secretary, told reporters in New Delhi today.

The stake was originally awarded to ONGC Mittal Energy Ltd., a venture between India’s largest energy explorer and billionaire Lakshmi Mittal. ONGC will control the entire 25 percent holding in Satpayev after Mittal exited the venture in November last year. KazMunaiGaz National Co., Kazakhstan’s state-run oil company, owns the remaining interest in the field.

India is seeking stakes in oil blocks overseas as part of an effort to secure energy supplies. ONGC signed a memorandum of understanding with KazMunaiGaz in February 2005 to develop exploration and production projects in Kazakhstan.

ONGC shares gained 0.8 percent to 1,329.70 rupees at 1:43 p.m. in Mumbai trading. The stock has advanced 13 percent this year compared with a 15 percent increase in the benchmark Sensitive Index.

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