Italian giant Eni has forged a joint venture with state-owned KazMunaiGaz to exploit potential resources in a Caspian Sea block off Kazakhstan.
The pair will each hold 50% stakes in exploration and production rights for the Isatay block in the northern Caspian under a strategic pact signed on Thursday by Eni chief executive Claudio Descalzi and KMG executive chairman Sauat Mynbayev.
They will also participate in a joint operating company that is being set up to tap expected significant oil resource potential in the block.
In addition, the two companies have agreed under the pact to develop a new shipyard at Kuryk in the Mangystau region on the Caspian coastline that will be run by a project company to be formed by the pair, apparently in an effort to secure local content for future field development projects.
The deal raises Eni’s profile in Kazakhstan, where it is already a co-operator of the Karachaganak field and a partner in the giant Kashagan field at which production is presently halted due to technical issues.