Kazakhstan Asks Ukraine for Help in Developing Gas Fields

Kazakhstan has asked Ukraine to participate in actively developing that country's gas fields, the press service of Ukraine's Fuel and Energy Ministry reported.

The plan is to create a "common Baltic-Black Sea-Caspian energy transit space." Such a project would have to be proposed during the Energy Summit in Kyiv, according to Ukraine's Government Portal website.

Yuriy Prodan, the Ukraine minister of fuel and energy, discussed the development of Kazakh gas deposits with Kazakhstan ambassador to the Ukraine Amangheldy Zhumabaev on Jan. 25. Zhumabaev indicated that for the project to move forward, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan would need to develop a "restoration of cooperation."

Kazakhstan also seeks continued safe passage for its crude oil supply across the Ukraine through the Odessa-Brody pipeline, operated by Ukrtransnafta, the Ukraine's state-owned oil pipeline company.

Ukrtransnafta and TNK-BP signed an agreement in 2004 to pump 9 million tons of oil per year in the pipeline through 2007. In 2006, TNK-BP Ukraine reported that 3.42 million tons of oil had been pumped through the pipeline, which was 41% lower than what had been pumped in 2005.

However, TNK-BP Ukraine reported that as of July 31, 2007, oil pumped in the reverse direction in the pipeline was recorded at 15.5 million tons. This provided the Ukraine with transportation and port duties earnings that totaled $176 million.

The Ukraine government has pegged natural gas resources at a total volume of 86.76 billion cubic meters, which includes 20.325 billion cubic meters of domestic gas, 55 billion cubic meters of imports, and 11.435 billion cubic meters of gas from underground storages.

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