Calls for setting up joint projects in Kazakhstan for manufacturing finished products

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerappa Moily, on Wednesday, sought Kazakhstan support for state-run ONGC Videsh Limited’s (OVL’s) bid to buy 8.4 per cent ConocoPhillips stake in the Kashagan oil field.

Addressing the 10 meeting of India-Kazakhstan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological, Industrial and Cultural Cooperation here, Mr. Moily hoped that Kazakhstan would favourably consider the bid by the consortium partners. Recently, OVL and ConocoPhilips signed an agreement for purchase of the share of ConocoPhillips in Kashagan oil field. The Kazakhstan delegation was led by Vice-Minister of Oil and Gas Bulat Akchulakov.

OVL, on November 26 last year, agreed to pay ConocoPhillips about $5 billion for the 8.4 per cent stake in Kashagan. The deal is subject to the approval of governments of Kazakhstan and other partners in the Caspian Sea field waiving their right of first refusal.

Mr. Moily said Indian oil and gas companies were exploring the possibility of establishing direct transportation of hydrocarbons from Kazakhstan to India, which, if implemented, would be considered a turning point in the region. Incidentally, all the countries involved in this venture — Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India — are members of CICA.

Mr. Moily also called for setting up joint venture (JV) projects in Kazakhstan for manufacturing finished products from their minerals and raw material, which could be exported to India. “Efforts should be made to set up JVs in Kazakhstan based on these raw materials to manufacture value-added goods which could be exported to India, particularly products such as copper, titanium, magnesium, phosphates, potash, molybdenum, tantalum and other rare earths. If Kazakh side agrees, a delegation of Indian companies could be sent to Kazakhstan to discuss the possibility of setting up JVs in the area of such metals and minerals,’’ he added. As India needed huge quantities of fertilizers for its agriculture and food security, a number of public and private sector companies were exploring the possibility of setting up projects to manufacture gas-based fertilizers such a urea, potash-based fertilisers and phosphate fertilizers, he said.

The meeting of the Joint Working Group on co-operation in the hydrocarbon sector was held along with the IGC meeting. It was decided that the next meeting of the Joint Working Group would be held in Kazakhstan. Both sides also agreed that tourism provided the opportunity to strengthen the links between the two countries at human and cultural level.

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