ASTANA – Kazakhstan is more inclined to sell the stake of ConocoPhillips in North – Caspian project (Kashagan) to China rather than India, a Russian expert has said. Kazakhstan, due to the fall in oil price, will need to take loans, “which, as before, China is ready to extend,” said Igor Ivakhnenko, an analyst specialising in oil and gas projects in Central Asia with the Russian publication Oil and Gas of Russia.

“India has not given anything substantial to Kazakhstan, and is unlikely to give, so Beijing has more chances to purchase the stake than Delhi,” Ivakhnenko said.

Besides, Astana is interested in selling gas exports to China, which also increases the sensitivity of Kazakhstan to Chinese interests, Ivakhnenko added. 

Kazakhstan’s Minister of Oil and Gas Sauat Mynbayev earlier said that China was interested in buying a stake of ConocoPhillips in Kashagan project in the Caspian shelf area.

“The decision has not taken yet, but the chances of this purchase are high. But we have a counter-terms to the Chinese side,” Mynbayev said.

In addition, JSC National Company KazMunaiGas head Lyazzat Kiinov recently said the national company does not intend to buy the share of ConocoPhillips in the North – Caspian project (Kashagan).

“We already have the share of 16.8%, which is enough for us. We do not aim to be a major shareholder in the project” Kiinov said.

Kazakhstan is expected to decide on the purchase of the share of ConocoPhillips in Kashagan project by the 25 May 2013.