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Kashagan Decision Delayed

Kazakhstan will decide by early July whether to take up an option to buy ConocoPhillips' stake in the Kashagan oilfield, which has drawn interest from China and India.

"[The state commission's] decision will be made by July 2," Kazakh Oil & Gas Minister Sauat Mynbayev said on Wednesday.

Kashagan, the world's biggest oilfield discovery in more than 40 years, holds an estimated 30 billion barrels of oil-in-place, of which 8 billion to 12 billion barrels are potentially recoverable, with first production expected in the middle of this year.

The government has a right to buy the 8.4 percent stake held by the U.S. firm as part of an international consortium developing the field, and if it does not, to decide on a buyer.

(Reuters)

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