Kazakhstan to tender out several onshore oil and gas blocks
Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Minister Uzakbai Karabalin. ©primeminister.kz
Kazakhstan is planning to tender out several onshore oil and gas blocks, Tengrinews reports. At some point in 2008 Kazakhstan introduced a moratorium on holding tenders on subsoil use rights for natural resources, including oil. The ban was linked to development of the new tax legislation in Kazakhstan. According to Kazakhstan Minister of Oil and Gas Uzakbai Karabalin the moratorium was lifted at the meeting attended by Nursultan Nazarbayev in January 2013. However, the hydrocarbon fields of the Caspian and Aral Seas are still not going to be tendered out. “Oil and Gas Ministry is currently working on a draft governmental decree to approve the list of blocks available for tenders. The biding for the subsoil use rights will start at a later date,” Karabalin said. However, tenders are not the only way to obtain a license to develop an oilfield in Kazakhstan: according to the Subsoil Law, an entity can obtain a field development contact after obtaining the field explication contract and discovering commercial reserves in the contracted area. In this case the entity has an exclusive right to develop the field and can obtain the license without a tender through direct negotiations.