Kazakhstan and a consortium of oil majors developing the giant Kashagan oil and gas field are considering building a $1 billion gas processing plant nearby, Kazakh Deputy Energy Minister Murat Zhurebekov told Reuters on Thursday.

The Central Asian nation has given up the idea of building a similar plant near another large field, Karachaganak, he said.

Zhurebekov said Kazakhstan had not decided how to finance the project, which would have a capacity of 1 billion cubic metres per year using gas from Kashagan, which plans to ramp up its output over the coming years.