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Aral Sea oil and gas field exploration deal signed

      RBC, 30.08.2006, Moscow 16:28:52.An investor consortium composed of national holding company Uzbekneftegaz, LUKoil Overseas Holding, Malaysia's Petronas Carigali Overseas, South Korea's Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC), and the Uzbek government signed a production-sharing agreement (PSA) today for carrying out the exploration work and subsequent development of new hydrocarbon fields in the Uzbek waters of the Aral Sea. According to the deal on establishing the consortium, all its participants will have an equal share in the project, the consortium's joint statement says.

      Oil and gas operations will be carried out by a project operator, and a marketing company will be in charge of selling the total volume of produced goods. These companies will be established by the participants of the consortium as legal entities of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

      Exploration work will be done in two stages. Minimum investment in the first stage is expected to reach $99.8m. Seismic exploration will begin in April 2007.

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