ALMATY, Kazakhstan -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan traveled to western Kazakhstan Tuesday to visit and demonstrate U.S. support for Karachaganak Operating Company, or KPO, which is currently in dispute with the Kazakh government over export duties and overproduction.
Ambassador Richard Hoagland "will become better acquainted with the operating environment and staff of Karachaganak Petroleum Operating Company and demonstrate U.S. government support for KPO," which is 20%-owned by U.S. energy company Chevron Corp. (CVX), the U.S. embassy said in a statement.
"President Nazarbayev's consistent support for economic reform and the sanctity of contracts has helped KPO become an important facet of the U.S.- Kazakhstani strategic partnership that greatly benefits both countries," the embassy said.
The U.K. ambassador to Kazakhstan will also visit BG Group (BG.LN) and Eni SpA-led (E) KPO.
Kazakhstan's largest oil and gas projects, including KPO and Chevron Corp.-led (CVX) Tengizchevroil, recently came under government pressure over export duties and overproduction. The oil and gas producers have insisted their contracts' stability clauses exempt them from tax changes, including the introduction of an export duty of $20 a metric ton.
Kazakh state oil and gas company KazMunaiGas has also indicated it seeks to get a stake of up to 10% in KPO, which is the only major oil and gas project in which Kazakhstan has no stake.
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