Kazakh sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna said on Tuesday it had signed a five-year syndicated loan worth up to $1.5 billion to help it buy a stake in the Kashagan oilfield from Kazakh state oil and gas firm KazMunaiGas. The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. was mandated as the sole coordinator, bookrunner and lead arranger for the loan which was Samruk’s debut transaction of the kind.
Samruk, managing state-run stakes in major Kazakh companies varying from oil and gas to railways, airlines and uranium, said the loan had originally been signed for $1 billion, but a clause in the deal would allow it to raise the amount to $1.5 billion. KazMunaiGas (KMG) said last month it would sell half its 16.81 percent stake in the giant Kashagan oilfield to Samruk-Kazyna for $4.7 billion, hoping to close the deal in November.
KMG has said it plans to use proceeds from the sale to reduce its debt related to the project by about $2.2 billion. After long delays and cost overrruns, Kashagan finally began production in September 2013 but halted operations a few weeks later after gas leaks were detected in its pipelines.
It is not expected to restart output before the end of 2016 or early 2017. Besides KMG, the Kashagan consortium includes Eni, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total , China’s CNPC and Japan’s Inpex.