Caspian Sunrise, an oil and gas exploration and production firm with a focus on Kazakhstan, has proposed to buy an offshore exploration drilling vessel.

A member of the Oraziman family owns a majority interest in the Caspian Explorer vessel. They will receive roughly 160,256,410 new Caspian Sunrise shares. The shares value $0.12 each.

The $25m deal will see the family boost their interest to 44.2% from 42.9%.

Caspian Sunrise executive chairman Clive Carver said: “Acquiring the Caspian Explorer will allow the company to participate in the further development of the Northern Caspian Sea, either directly via participation in an exploration consortium, or indirectly by hiring the vessel to others active in the region.”

The purchase is subject to the approval of the company’s shareholders and the Kazakh authorities.

The offshore exploration vessel Caspian Explorer is capable of drilling exploration wells to depths of up to 6,000m in extremely shallow waters.

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Developed by a consortium of Korean firms KNOC, Samsung and Daewoo Shipbuilding, the Ersay shipyard in Kazakhstan assembled the vessel.

The vessel became operational in 2012, in which there was relatively little exploration activity in the Northern Caspian Sea.

In 2017, the Korean consortium finalised to sell the offshore exploration vessel to KC Caspian Explorer. This Kazakh registered entity owns a 100% interest in the Caspian Explorer.

In 2018, KazMunaiGas contracted the Caspian Explorer for about $24m to drill an exploration well at 1.8km depth.

Caspian Sunrise said that no operations involved the vessel last year.