Kazakhstan started selling the subsoil use right online
Petro Qazaq turned out not Petro
The first online auction to grant the right to explore and produce hydrocarbons was held on December 23, 2020. It was assumed that ten high-potential sites would be sold on it, but in the end, only seven sites were auctioned. The other three were canceled due to the lack of a minimum number of participants. The sold oil sites are located in Atyrau, Aktobe, and West Kazakhstan regions. According to the Ministry of Energy, the total starting price of the plots was 263 mln tenge, and in the end, it increased 240 times! The record-holder was the Saraishyk site, which was sold a thousand times more expensive – at a starting price of 43 mln tenge, in the end, the lot was sold for 43 bln tenge. At the Zaburunye site, the price increased 500 times – from 38 mln to 16 bln tenge.
Both of these sites were purchased by Petro Qazaq, owned by the offshore company Winsple Netherlands BV. However, when the payment deadline approached, in January 2021, Petro Qazaq asked the Ministry of Energy to postpone payment for two months due to the situation with the coronavirus, which is why the company does not have time to finalize loans in European banks to pay for the subscription bonus.
According to the official representative of the Ministry, Serikzhan Ermentayev, Petro Qazaq was denied the postponement of payment terms. Now the subsoil use right for the Saraishyk and Zaburunye sites must be re-sold at an auction. Thus, the situation with these two sites has returned to its original state. According to the auction rules, Petro Qazaq has lost its right to participate in the second auction, which will most likely take place in the autumn of this year.
Kazakhstani investors purchased other sites. The LLP purchased the Karabau and Balkuduk plots, the ultimate beneficiary of which is the Seitzhanov family, which is engaged in oil production through Souths Oil LLP. The subsoil use right for the Sagiz site was purchased by Kusto Group, owned by the Tatishev family, which operates in oil production through KazPetrol Group. Another winner of the electronic auction is Sapa Investment LLP, which is unknown in the oil industry.
The second pancake is not always spoiled
On April 23, 2021, the second electronic auction was held. According to its results, the total amount of the subscription bonus amounted to 9.3 bln tenge, the press service of the Ministry of Energy reported. Buyers were also interested in not all the lots: if the notice of the auction, put up on the Internet resource on January 28, indicated 15 subsoil sites, then only eight were put up for auction in the end, for seven sites, the auction was canceled due to the lack of a minimum number of participants.
This time, the right to develop two fields and six sites was put up for sale, of which five objects are located in the Aktobe region, two in the Atyrau region, and one on the border of the Kyzylorda region. The lowest starting price (for the Kopbulak and Shatyrlysay sites) was about 8.7 mln tenge. The highest (for the Karatobe site in the Aktobe region) is more than 490 mln tenge. As expected, from the very first minutes of the auction, the participants offered the highest price for two sites – Karatobe and Shatyrlysay, for which the fight unfolded. Fifteen minutes after the start of trading, the first object, the Zhanatan site in the Aktobe region, was sold for 82.85 mln tenge at the starting price of 82.82 mln.
An hour and a half later, the second site Zhaksymai was sold for almost five times the stated price. By noon, the auction was completed for two more sites. The first, Kaskyrbulak Yuzhny in Atyrau region, at a starting price of 29 mln tenge was sold for more than 370 mln tenge. The second site, Kopbulak in Aktobe region, with the starting price of 8.7 mln tenge was sold for 113 mln tenge. In the second half of the day, the Biikzhal section in the Atyrau region went for almost 1.3 bln tenge at a starting price of 42.6 mln tenge.
At the end of the auction, the last three sites were sold. Shatyrlysai in the Aktobe region sold for 2.1 bln tenge with an initial price of 8.75 mln tenge. The site near Kumkol in the Kyzylorda region, at the starting price of 19.8 mln, was sold for 1.23 bln tenge. And, finally, at the highest price, for 3.96 bln tenge, at the starting price of 492 mln tenge, that is, almost six times more expensive, the Karatobe field in the Aktobe region was sold. The fact that bidders raised their bids more than 40 times indicates the intensity of the competition!