Zhenis Operating LLP (a 50-50 venture between Lukoil and KazMunayGas) will operate the project. Minimum work obligations include drilling of one exploration well and a 3D seismic survey.
The block is in the southern part of the Kazakh sector, 80 km (49.7 mi) offshore. The nearest sea port is Aktau.
Last year the two companies signed joint operating and financing agreements for the project, and this February the Ministry issued mineral rights on the block.
In the northern (Russian) sector of the Caspian Sea, Lukoil has completed construction of the seventh well at the second production platform on the Vladimir Filanovsky field.
The well has two bores – the main bore is at a drill depth of 3,600 m (11,811 ft), while the base of the side track is at 3,700 m (12,139 ft).
Currently 13 production and two injection wells have been drilled, with total cumulative production to date of 11.5 MM metric tons (12.7 MM tons).
Under the current third-phase development, preparations are under way to transport the topsides for the new wellhead mini platform to the installation site in the Caspian Sea, where it will be lifted onto the substructure.
Lukoil has also commissioned the third production well at the wellhead platform of Yury Korchagin field, drilled by a jackup to a subsurface depth of 4,700 m (15,420 ft), with a 2,400-m (7,874-ft) side track.
The well is said to feature a state-of-the-art intelligent-completion system with electric drive, designed to exploit the geological potential and to minimize geological risks. At present 27 producers and 16 injectors are in service on the field.
Oil production is due to start in 2023 at an annual rate of 1.2 MM metric tons (1.32 MM tons).