* Troubled Ozen raises output, further exploration seen
* Analyst says KazMunaiGas has cash to fund exploration
* New bonds to repay old debts, fund Kashagan's development
* On Kashagan stake sale, says happy with current holding
By Raushan Nurshayeva and Mariya Gordeyeva
ASTANA/ALMATY, April 29 (Reuters) - State-run KazMunaiGas,
Kazakhstan's second-largest oil producer, said it would invest
1.5 trillion tenge ($9.9 billion) in exploration in the next 10
years as it aims to nearly double its reserves of crude oil and
KazMunaiGas Chief Executive Officer Lyazzat Kiinov said on
Monday the company's current reserves stood at over 800 million
tonnes of liquid hydrocarbons.
"We want to nearly double (reserves) in 10 years to over 1.4
billion tonnes," Kiinov told a news conference broadcast live.
"In general, we are thinking of investing 1.5 trillion tenge
within 10 years, that is until 2022."
Larger reserves would boost the market value of KazMunaiGas
and increase its output, Kiinov said. The company has said it
plans to raise annual oil output by 60 percent to 35.4 million
tonnes by 2022.
Kazakhstan, the second-largest post-Soviet oil producer
after Russia and home to 3 percent of the world's recoverable
oil reserves, plans to boost oil output to 82 million tonnes
this year from 79.2 million tonnes in 2012.
KazMunaiGas controls London-listed KazMunaiGas Exploration
Production (KMG EP), whose output and
financial results are consolidated in the results of the parent
Kiinov did not say where the company would raise the funds
to finance its exploration projects.
"At the end of last year, they (KazMunaiGas) ... had more
than 1 trillion tenge on their accounts (including KMG EP),
which means that in principle they have money," Maxim Edelson,
director covering natural resources of the EMEA region at Fitch
"The markets are generally favourable at the moment, and we
believe the company will continue borrowing ... or it will
partially use the ... funds from KMG EP accounts," he added.
KMG EP plans to boost oil production by 1.6 percent to 12.4
million tonnes in 2013 to end its two-year output decline caused
mainly by a workers' strike at its wells in Mangistau.
Kiinov said the Ozen oil deposit, one of Kazakhstan's oldest
and a core asset of KMG EP, ramped up output earlier this month
after years of steady decline.
KazMunaiGas owns more than 40 oil deposits in the Mangistau
and Atyrau regions in western Kazakhstan. It takes part in
multinational consortia developing the giant onshore Tengiz oil
deposit and the large Karachaganak oil and gas condensate field.
The offshore Kashagan field, the world's largest oil
discovery in more than four decades, is expected to produce its
first oil later this year. KazMunaiGas holds a 16.81 percent
stake in this project.
Last week KazMunaiGas raised $3 billion via two Eurobond
tranches, part of a borrowing programme of up to $10.5 billion.
Fitch rated the sale of bonds maturing in 2023
and 2043 at BBB, at the low end of investment grade.
The bulk of the $3 billion will be used to refinance old
debts and will be invested in Kashagan, Kiinov said.
Kazakhstan has a pre-emptive right to buy out an 8.4 percent
stake in Kashagan owned by U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips
, which is shedding overseas assets to focus on
lower-cost domestic shale oil and gas.
Asked if KazMunaiGas intended to buy the stake for itself,
Kiinov said: "We are happy with our 16.8 percent; it's alright.
We are not striving to be the main player (in Kashagan)."
ConocoPhillips has said it intends to sell the stake to
India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp for about
China also has shown interest in buying the stake, Kazakh
Oil & Gas Minister Sauat Mynbayev said last week.
A deal could be struck in the first half of this year.
Stakes in Kashagan identical to KazMunaiGas's 16.81 percent
are held by Italy's Eni, U.S. major ExxonMobil,
Royal Dutch Shell and France's Total. Japan's
Inpex owns 7.56 percent.