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Kazakhstan plans to reallocate or sell more than 100 onshore and offshore oil and gas blocks, hoping to find new owners of discovered fields and prospective new discoveries, Upstream reports, citing a government lease auction notice.
A total of 107 oil and gas exploration blocks are up for grabs, including around two dozen which will be sold or reallocated only to state-owned oil and gas companies, according to a Kazakhstan energy ministry notice cited by Upstream.
The 107 fields are located both onshore and offshore in the shallow waters of the Caspian Sea.
Companies are now invited to express readiness to bid for the more than 80 oil and gas blocks not reserved for state-owned entities. Oil and gas blocks that will have received expressions of interest will be put up for bidding for exploration and production licenses in an online auction.
In recent weeks, Kazakhstan has seen a significant drop in its oil production, due to both planned and unplanned maintenance of major oilfields and critical export infrastructure.
Crude oil production in Kazakhstan, which is part of the OPEC+ output deal, plunged by 13% in August from July due to regular maintenance at one giant field and an unplanned halt at another huge oilfield, Reuters reported earlier this week, quoting two sources with knowledge of daily production data.
Excluding condensate, oil production in Kazakhstan dropped to 1.196 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, down from 1.378 million bpd, according to the data cited by Reuters sources.
In early August, the offshore oilfield Kashagan, which pumps more than 300,000 bpd, was shut down after a gas leak was detected on the site.
A few days later, the field operator said that it would partially restart production, and upon completion of repairs and integrity verification, full production would be restored at the facility.
Kazakhstan has also seen reduced volumes of oil exports over the past weeks.
Oil exports from Kazakhstan via the Black Sea terminal of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) were expected to face at least a month of reduced shipments and disrupted loading schedules due to urgent repairs needed at two of the terminal's three Single Point Moorings, the consortium said at the end of August.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.