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Total Looks To Raise $4B By Cutting Stake In Giant Kashagan Oil Field

France’s oil and gas major Total is looking to sell a third of its 17-percent interest in the giant Kashagan oil field in Kazakhstan, aiming to raise up to US$4 billion from the sale, Reuters reported on Friday, quoting four banking sources.

Total is a member of the consortium that has signed the North Caspian Sea Production Sharing Agreement (NCSPSA), and holds a 16.81-percent stake in the North Caspian license, which encompasses the Kashagan oil field. Apart from Total, the other shareholders in the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) are Kazakhstan’s state oil and gas firm KazMunayGas, as well as Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), and Inpex.

Total’s entire stake in the company operating the Kashagan field is worth up to US$9 billion, according to Reuters’ sources.

In recent months, Total has been in talks with a Chinese state oil company about potentially selling part of its stake in Kashagan, but talks fell through because of disagreements over the price tag, two of the sources told Reuters.

Total could make good use of the proceeds from a Kashagan stake sale, because earlier this month the French group signed a binding agreement with Occidental to buy Anadarko’s assets in Africa (Algeria, Ghana, Mozambique, South Africa) for US$8.8 billion, contingent upon Occidental completing its acquisition of Anadarko.

Production at Kashagan, which started in 2016, is around 400,000 bpd, making the Kazakh field one of the largest offshore oil fields.

Kashagan has reserves of 13 billion barrels of crude and in-place resources of as much as 38 billion barrels. Its development has been challenging, mainly because of climatic and geological peculiarities, and because of cost overruns that saw the final budget more than double on the initial US$20 billion to US$50 billion. There have been plans to bring the field’s production rate to half a million barrels daily.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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