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Kazakhstan holding sold

February 12, 2001, 09:20 CET

An agreement in principle has been reached by Statoil on selling its 4.76 per cent interest off Kazakhstan to TotalFinaElf.

Covering the Kashagan field, this deal accords with the international upstream strategy of focusing personnel and resources on core assets and areas with operator potential.

"Even with the huge discovery, the position on Kashagan does not meet our criteria for maturity and governance," says Rolf Magne Larsen, regional vice president for the Caspian.

"This is because our ownership interest is too small," he adds, but emphasises that the divestment off Kazakhstan does not change Statoil's strategy for the region.

"The Caspian remains a principal priority area for us."

Exploration off Kazakhstan is pursued by the Offshore Kazakhstan International Operating Company (Okioc). Other partners are Agip, British Gas, ExxonMobil, Shell, Phillips Petroleum and Inpex.

TotalFinaElf recently also acquired BP's holding off Kazakhstan.