6 Oct 2009 12:05

Lukoil negotiates Atash exploration contract extension with Kazakhstan

ASTANA. Oct 6 (Interfax) - Russia's Lukoil is negotiating an extension to the Atash exploration contract with the Kazakh Energy and Mineral Resources.

"We are currently negotiating the extension of this contract with the Energy Ministry," the director of LUKOIL Overseas Shelf B.V office in Kazakhstan, Alexander Panyaev, told Interfax.

He said that the contract expires at the end of 2010 and added that it's not feasible to conclude a new contract.

KazMunaiGas received the license to explore Atash from the Kazakh Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry on December 29, 2003 for a seven-year term. In 2004 KMG transferred the license to the Atash company, formed on a 50-50 basis by KazMunaiTeniz and Lukoil Overseas Shelf B.V. It was reported in mid-2008 that Lukoil could not confirm the outlook for the offshore Atash structure after drilling an exploration well there. The Atash section is located in the central northern Caspian Sea in waters 7-10 meters deep. It includes the Atash, Kazakhstan and Maral structures. Seismic and electronic work was carried out in 2004-2006, as well as geological study.