Russia's Upper House OKs Kazakh Caspian Sea Oil Pact



MOSCOW Feb. 21, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Russia's Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, Wednesday ratified amendments to an agreement between Russia and Kazakhstan to divide the northern part of the Caspian Sea bed, including oil fields, ITAR-TASS reported.

Under the amendments, Russian and Kazakh companies will be able to develop the Khvalynskoye and Tsentralnoye oil fields in the northern part of the Caspian Sea under production-sharing agreements. The ratified amendments eliminate the conflict between Russian and international laws regulating cooperation in the development of the fields.

The agreement was signed in 1998 and gave Russia sovereign rights for the Khvalynskoye and Tsentralnoye oil fields, while Kazakhstan received sovereign rights for the Kurmangazy oil field.

Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have ratified agreements to divide the northern part of the Caspian Sea bed between the three countries, Russia's Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said earlier.

The State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, ratified the amendments earlier this month.

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