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Death of Total CEO will not affect Kashagan project: Kazakh Vice-Minister of Energy

22 october 2014, 13:23
CEO of French oil group Total Christophe de Margerie. Photo courtesy of top.rbc.ru.
CEO of French oil group Total Christophe de Margerie. Photo courtesy of top.rbc.ru.

Tragic death of the CEO of French oil giant Total Christophe de Margerie will not affect the development of Kashagan field in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports citing Kazakhstan's First Deputy Minister of Energy Uzakbai Karabalin. The French oil company is one of the partners of the North-Caspian project developing the Kashagan field.

“How will it influence Kashagan project? It (Total) is a highly organized world-class company. There are surely some people in the top management of the company, who can take over the flag and move forward. I do not think that Total’s role in the Kashagan project will somehow change following this accident. Our stable business relations with the company remain the same. I want to take this opportunity to express my condolences to our French colleagues and the families of those who died in the crash,” Uzakbai Karabalin said at the briefing in the Central Communications Service headquarters yesterday.

“The tragic death of Christophe de Margerie has deeply saddened not only French oil workers, but our oilmen as well. We have known De Margerie as a highly regarded expert and outstanding leader, who organized the work of Total at a very high level. We have knewn him personally and met him on a number of occasions to discussed various issues together. He was an optimistic, interesting and knowledgeable persons. Loss of such a person is a grievous event for us,” he said.

Head of the French oil giant Christophe de Margerie, 63, died in a plane crash on Monday night in Moscow. Three crew members that were on board that plane with De Margerie died, too.

The accident occurred at 11:58 local time when the private jet crashed into a snow plough truck during take-off from the Vnukovo international airport in Moscow.

Amid a visibility of 300 meters and the take off speed the pilot could in no way avoid the collision. Alcohol test confirmed that the driver of the vehicle on the ground was drunk. But inspection of the the airport orders found that the drunk driver violated no orders and did not drive beyond be area designated for him. It remains unclear why the airports traffic control service sent the truck and the airplane to the same runway. A criminal case was opened on Tuesday.

Christophe de Margerie, a vocal critic of sanctions against Russia, was returning to Paris after a meeting with Russian Prime-Minister Dmitry Medvedev at his residence near Moscow following a business meeting in Gorky. Among the topic covered was the investments in Russia amid the unrest in Ukraine and the resulting Western sanctions against the post-soviet country widely blamed for the stand-off in Ukraine.

Writing by Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

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