Romania’s OMV Petrom has completed a deal to sell its 100% shareholdings in oil-producing subsidiaries in Kazakhstan to local player Magnetic Oil.

The two subsidiaries hold development rights for four onshore fields that produced 6800 barrels of oil equivalent per day last year, or about 5% of OMV Petrom’s total production.

The fields. which are located in the Mangistau region of Kazakhstan, have proven reserves of about 22 million barrels of oil equivalent.

OMV Petrom has not disclose the amount that it had received for the assets, which the Romanian company had owned since 1998, sparking renewed concerns on the growing role of covert private interests in the Kazakh energy sector.

According to the Kazakh company registrar, Magnetic Oil belongs to two Kazakh individuals, Bauyrzhan Bisembayev and Yelena Tyurina.

It was incorporated two months before the transaction with OMV Petrom was announced publicly in December 2020.

Bisembayev is reported to co-own another minor oil producer in the country, Kor Oil Company, which is based in the Kyzylorda region.

Kor was founded in 1995 by a known Kazakh oilman Robert Berdyguzhin and is developing the Aschysay oilfield.

However, no information about Tyurina is publicly available.

OMV Petrom said that the Kazakh sale fits with its recently adopted strategy to focus its regional expansion on the Black Sea area in search of the most profitable barrels.

Earlier this year, OMV Petrom signed pacts with operators in Georgia and Ukraine to enter into large offshore exploration plays in their respective sectors in the Black Sea.