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Kazakhs buy 10 pct stake in major energy project

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) — Kazakhstan has acquired a 10 percent stake in one of the largest oil and gas projects in the world following two years of negotiations with the international consortium developing the field in the Central Asian nation.

BG Group, which remains one of Karachaganak project's main shareholders with a 29.25 percent stake, said Thursday that Kazakhstan paid $2 billion in cash. Kazakhstan is liable for a further $1 billion non-cash consideration.

Kazakhstan's interest in Karachaganak will run by state energy company Kazmunaigas.

Karachaganak has been plagued by numerous government probes over environmental violations and faced insistent pressure from Kazakh authorities to allow them into the project.

The other partners are Italy's Eni, which now also holds 29.25 percent, Chevron with an 18 percent stake, Russia's LUKOIL with 13.5 percent.

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