Russia and Kazakhstan Close To Caspian Deal

Russia and Kazakhstan are close to signing an intergovernmental protocol officially documenting the jurisdiction of the oilfields in the north Caspian. The Kazakh Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev has been quoted as saying that, during recent talks, the parties reached a fundamental agreement that Kazakhstan would keep its jurisdiction over the Kurmangazy field, and Russia would have jurisdiction over the Khvalynskoye and Tsentralnoye fields.

The exact reserves of the fields are unknown, but it is estimated that the reserves of Kurmangazy are approximately the same as the combined reserves of Khvalynskoye and Tsentralnoye. Kurmangazy is estimated to contain 10% of the oil reserves of the Kazakh part of the Caspian Sea, an area dominated by the giant Kashagan field.

Tokayev said that work on the draft protocol will continue in Almaty April 8-9 during a visit by a Russian delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko. "If the government delegation reaches agreement on April 8-9 on the text...the document will be generally ready for signing," Tokayev said.