Chretien joins PetroKazakhstan as special adviser

Retired from the front benches of the House of Commons, former prime minister Jean Chretien has landed a new job as special adviser on international relations at PetroKazakhstan Inc.

The Calgary-based company announced Chretien's appointment on Tuesday, but his duties have yet to be determined.

In Oct. 2003, PetroKazakhstan said regulators in the Republic of Kazkhstan were demanding that the Canadian-based oil company return $6.3 million US "allegedly obtained in excess of authorized prices."

Company officials said at the time that the notification contained "a number of factual errors" which if corrected would reduce the Kazakh claim to less than $400,000 US.

The company indicated Tuesday that attempts to resolve the issue with Kazakhstan are still ongoing.

Last week, the company said its production grew to an average of 164,559 barrels per day in the final quarter of last year. 2004 production is expected to be 160,000 to 175,000 barrels per day.

Since he retired from politics in December, Chretien, 70, has joined the Ottawa law firm of Heenan Blaikie as counsel.

Shares of PetroKazakhstan rose $1.52 to $31.65 on Tuesday.