KMG EP anounces oil discovery in western Kazakhstan

ALMATY, Oct 22 (Reuters) – KazMunaiGas Exploration & Production (KMG EP) (KMGq.L), Kazakhstan’s No. 2 oil producer, said on Friday it had found oil in the Central Asian nation’s west and would aim to put it into operation in the near future.

The London-listed company said in a regulatory statement that the new accumulation had been discovered at the Liman Block, on the south slope of the Novobogatinsk Salt Dome 70 km (44 miles) west of the country’s oil capital Atyrau.

KMG EP said daily production rate was 24 cubic metres with 5-mm choke. Three more pay horizons are forecast in the drilled section, it said.

“The company’s 2011 work programme aims at detailed study and volumetrics in order to put the discovery into operation in the near future,” it said.

KMG EP cited its Chief Executive Officer Kenzhebek Ibrashev as saying: “In the new phase of our company’s development, exploration is becoming increasingly important.”

“We work hard to expand our exploration portfolio, intensify our post-salt exploration programme and plan to start drilling pre-salt wells in the near future.”

KMG EP said earlier this week its oil output had grown by 15 percent to 9.946 million tonnes (270,000 barrels per day) in January-September.

Ibrashev told Reuters earlier this month that he expects KMG EP to increase output by 25 percent to 17 million tonnes next year after acquiring new assets.

Output in 2011, including the company’s share in joint ventures, will rise from an expected 13.6 million tonnes in 2010, Ibrashev said. (Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; editing by James Jukwey)