LUKoil Signs Caspian Sea Memorandum with Kazakh Company

LUKoil and Kazakh state company KazMunaiGaz may reach an agreement by December 2003 on creating a joint enterprise to carry out exploratory work and extraction of hydrocarbons on the Caspian Sea shelf. According to the Russian company's press office, this hope is laid out in a memorandum of understanding signed today by LUKoil president Vagit Alekperov and KazMunaiGaz president Lyazzat Kiinov.

The memorandum proposes joint studying and evaluation of the results of exploration, and carrying out exploration work and extraction at promising marine structures in the Kazakh and Russian sections of the Caspian Sea. The document notes that LUKoil and KazMunaiGaz have significant financial resources, and the technical potential and experience to effectively implement oil and gas projects in the sea. According to Vagit Alekperov, developing Kazakhstan's huge oil and gas reserves can 'only be effective if actively working with a national company.'

LUKoil is Russia's leading vertically integrated oil company. Its main operations are exploratory work and oil and gas extraction, and producing and selling petroleum products. The company's net profit in 2001 was 87.521 billion roubles (USD 2.8 billion), and in 2002 it extracted 78.3 million tonnes of oil. KazMunaiGaz was created in 2002 with the merger of Kazakhoil and Oil and Gas Transport.

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