News 31 May. 2012

Curtis Counsels Kazakhstan on Agreements to Develop the Kashagan Field, Largest Oil Discovery in Over 30 Years

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP represented Kazakhstan in negotiations that have resolved certain disputes with the North Caspian Sea Consortium regarding the development of the Kashagan field, reported to be the world's largest oil discovery since the 1970s. The agreement also settles related alternative dispute resolution proceedings.

The settlement resulted in agreement between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the North Caspian Sea Consortium for the commencement of oil production from the Kashagan field by June 30, 2013 and the reduction of budget increases requested by the Consortium for the development of the Kashagan field.

Approximately $1 billion of the increased development costs to be borne by Consortium-member KMG Kashagan BV, a subsidiary of the national oil company of Kazakhstan, KazMunaiGas, will be financed by the other Consortium members, i.e., subsidiaries of Eni S.p.A., Exxon Mobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Total S.A., ConocoPhillips Company and Inpex Corporation.

The settlement also provides for the non-reimbursement of certain development costs incurred by the Consortium and the agreement that the Consortium will sell natural gas to KazTranGas, the national operator for gas transportation in Kazakhstan, largely for domestic consumption in Kazakhstan at domestic prices.

Curtis represented Kazakhstan utilizing a team of lawyers from four of its international offices (New York, Paris, Almaty and Astana). Partners Eric L. Gilioli and Askar N. Moukhitdinov led the negotiations along with associates Askhad Koshkarbayev and Nurlan Mukhitdinov. Partners George Kahale III and Ben Preziosi and associates Marie-Claire Argac and Yerzhan Mukhitdinov represented Kazakhstan in the related alternative dispute resolution proceedings.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP is a leading international law firm providing a broad range of services to clients around the world. Curtis has 16 offices in the United States, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. The firm's international orientation has been a hallmark of its practice for nearly two centuries. For more information about Curtis, please visit or follow Curtis on Twitter ( and Facebook (