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    OMV Petrom completes Kazakh exit


The company wants to shift its attention to the Black Sea.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Asia/Oceania, Top Stories, Premium, Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, Exploration & Production, News By Country, Kazakhstan

OMV Petrom completes Kazakh exit

Austro-Romanian group OMV Petrom has completed the sale of its assets in Kazakhstan, the company reported on May 17, as part of a shift in its focus towards exploration and production activities in the Black Sea.

The deal, first announced in December, draws a line under OMV Petrom's two decades of operating in the central Asian state. It involves the sale of 100% interests in Kom-Munai and Tasbulat Oil Corp, which operate the Komsomolskoye oilfield and the Tasbulat concession respectively, to a private Kazakh business called Magnetic Oil. The assets are situated in Kazakhstan's western Mangistau region near the Caspian Sea, and produced 6,760 barrels of oil equivalent/day of hydrocarbons last year.

"The transaction is part of OMV Petrom's strategy to focus its regional expansion towards the Black Sea area in search of the most profitable barrels," the company said in a stock filing. 

OMV Petrom, part owned by Austria's OMV and part by the Romanian state, is looking to develop the 84bn-m3 Neptun Deep gas discovery in the Romanian Black Sea, although it is yet to take a final investment decision because of what it says are poor regulatory conditions in the country. Its partner is ExxonMobil, but the US major is expected to transfer its 50% interest to Romania's state-owned Romgaz. OMV Petrom will replace ExxonMobil as Neptun Deep's operator as part of this transaction.

OMV Petrom also operates other Black Sea projects in Romania and Bulgaria, and is interested in exploring for gas off the coasts of Georgia and Ukraine as well.