Mubadala to drill well

THE FIRST WELL of Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi-based investment company, and ConocoPhillips joint venture in Kazakstan, will be drilled next year, a ConocoPhillips executive said.

"Plans call for pre-drilling seismic surveys and analyses to be completed this year. “We are currently planning to drill the first well in 2010. The production start date depends upon our exploration programme results," said Charlie Rowton.

The oilfield is expected to hold about 1.5 to three billion barrels in reserves. Explorations are expected to take three to four years.

Rowton said Kazakh company KazmunaiGas Corporation was getting financial support to carry out the exploration work. Furthermore, the company would be paid an additional amount depending on the degree of success in tracing resources. "We won't reveal the commercial terms as they are confidential. However, they include financial support to KMG for the exploration programme and, potentially, additional payments based on the degree of success in locating developable resources," he said.

The three-party agreement is a 'subsoil use contract', in which both ConocoPhillips and Mubadala are 24.5 per cent participants, along with KMG at 51 per cent. "This contract provides the parties an exploration term followed by a production term, if the exploration is successful," said Rowton. The N Block where exploration is currently being carried out is located 30-km southwest offshore Aktau, Kazakhstan, in the Caspian Sea.

The block covers about 8,100 sq-km of area and, according to estimates, is a highly prospective for both oil and gas. Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, CEO and Managing Director, Mubadala Development Company, at the time of signing of an agreement between the three firms said, "The establishment of mutually beneficial partnerships remains a fundamental element of Mubadala's approach to business. “Signing this agreement is another important step

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