British oil major BP has decided to stay out of energy projects in Kazakhstan after 18 months of talks with local officials, a Kazakh national company KazMunayGas senior official said.
In 2019, BP said it might return to potential oil and gas projects in the former Soviet country and signed a memorandum of understanding with KazMunayGaz, breaking a 10-year hiatus in cooperation.
The company had been evaluating offshore blocks Bolshoy Zhambyl, Zhemchuzhnaya and Kalamkas Sea and finally decided not to pursue them with future investment.
“British Petroleum’s plans changed recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the change in oil prices,” said Dauren Karabaev, deputy chairman of the KazMunayGas board.
“They sent us a letter and said that in the near future they would not consider projects in Kazakhstan.”
BP also informed its Kazakh partners that, according to a new strategy adopted last year, the company would focus on cleaner energy and shrink its hydrocarbon business by 40% over the coming decade.
Since announcing its strategy shift, the British major has sold a string of oil and gas assets while making big investments in renewable energy projects.
BP was present in Kazakhstan, home of huge Kashagan oil field, until 2009. It participated in the Tengiz oil field project and the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, but in December 2009, the company said that it had been “deprived of its interest” in the projects.