The Kazakh Oil and Gas Ministry has revoked the license on the development of the Shagyrly-Shomyshty gas deposit, one of the largest in the country, from U.S. company CaspianGasCorporation over debts, the Novosti-Kazakhstan news agency said. CaspianGasCorporation, a subsidiary of the American Petroleum company, has been developing the field since February 2004. Kazakh Oil and Gas Minister Sauat Mynbayev was quoted as saying the company owes a large debt to the Kazakh BTA bank and the company's property has been sequestered.
CaspianGasCorporation has been requested to pay the debt for more that a year, Mynbayev told Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov during a meeting in the country's southwestern Mangistauskaya region on Wednesday. "We did not receive an adequate response, that is why the ministry decided today to sign the order revoking the license on the Shagyrly-Shomyshty [exploration]," Mynbayev said. He said new investors would be either selected in a tender or "through direct talks," adding that candidates would be requested to cover all debts to obtain the license to develop the gas field.
The Shagyrly-Shomyshty gas deposit, located in the Mangistauskaya region, was discovered in 1966. Its gas reserves account for 32.4 billion cubic meters, making it one of the country's three largest gas fields. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has pledged to revoke licenses from all investors in the mineral resources sector who fail to fulfill their contract obligations.