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Corruption claims will have no effect on Kashagan project: Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Ministry

12 may 2012, 16:39
0
Kashagan oil and gas field. ©REUTERS
Kashagan oil and gas field. ©REUTERS
Executive Secretary of Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Ministry Kanatbek Safinov believes that reports in the foreign media accusing Italian energy giant Eni of bribery during conclusion of contracts on Kashagan oil and gas field an internal battle between participants of the project, RIA Novosti writes.

“I don’t think that anyone will stop the project. I can tell you that there has been an internal battle for operatorship at Kashagan for a long time. There are different international groups that are trying to change the operator, that’s why all kinds of information is leaked. Let the court make a ruling and then we will talk about it once it is a legal fact. There are no such facts so far,” Safinov said and added that there were no official statements except for the publications in the media.

According to him, the publications in the media will have no effect on the relations between official Astana and Eni company. “Should there be any criminal issues, that will be their (Eni’s) responsibility. What does the project have to do with it? Kashagan project will be developed in line with the contract. If someone wants to leave it, there are certain conditions for that. Anyway, the country is planning to develop the project and we will develop it,” Safinov said.

On May 10 Italian magazine Corriere della Sera published that Milan prosecutors suspect Italian energy company Eni of bribery during conclusion of the contracts for development of Kashagan oil and gas field in Kazakhstan. According to the magazine, a bribe of at least $20 million was paid by Eni to Kazakhstan politicians at the first stage of development of Kashagan field before spring 2007.

According to Corriere della Sera, several managers of Eni are suspected of bribery, however head of Eni Paolo Scaroni is not one of them. Nevertheless, the investigation was initiated against the whole company as a legal entity, the magazine wrote. In relation to the investigation, Milan prosecutors are requesting to send a state crisis manager to Agip Kco, an affiliated company of Eni in Kazakhstan, or ban it from signing any contracts in the country. The court ruling is expected to be made in the end of May.

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