The oil price fall has forced NC KazMunaiGas (NC KMG), Kazakhstan’s state-owned oil and gas operator, to take responsive measures to keep its stretched finances under control. If Shell’s acquisition of BG closes, NC KMG would be able to exercise its pre-emptive right to purchase part, or all, of BG’s 29.25% stake in Karachaganak, Kazakhstan’s key gas project. However, recent developments cast doubt over its ability to do so. We do not expect full pre-emption of BG’s stake. Yet, this could still be an opportune time for NC KMG to cement its position in one of Kazakhstan's three megaprojects - particularly given its minor current stake (10%). Partial pre-emption could prove strategically and commercially compelling, with Karachaganak set to provide value and volume growth from the 2020s. Given Shell’s US$30 billion disposal target, partial pre-emption at Karachaganak could be a mutually beneficial outcome for Shell/BG and the Kazakh State.