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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

TNK-BP Turns to Projects in Central Asia

TNK-BP wants to gain footholds in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan amid concerns over a heavy Russian tax burden.

"Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are those places where Russian companies with international characteristics can prosper," CEO Robert Dudley told reporters over the weekend.

"We are not talking about anything like Kashagan," he said referring to the huge Kazakh offshore field.

"We can work in other parts, like onshore for example. There could be mature fields to help develop as we did in Russia. It would be a good start," he said in comments cleared for publication on Monday.

Dudley also said the firm was considering projects in the Russian Caspian Sea sector near Kazakhstan, but did not elaborate: "Places like Astrakhan -- we have good experience in developing these environmentally sensitive areas."

The company, which has previously remained focused on Russia, is looking to increase its portfolio elsewhere as it says Russia has surpassed Norway as the country with the heaviest taxation in the oil industry.

Next year, TNK-BP plans to boost investments in Russia to between $4 billion and $4.5 billion from $3.4 billion in 2007. TNK-BP is responsible for one-fifth of BP's production, but brings only a tenth of its profits.