Kazakhstan Government Approves Caspian Development Plan

The Government of Kazakhstan has approved a development program for oil fields in the Caspian Sea. Kazakh Prime-Minister Imangali Tasmagambetov signed the decree on the eve of a trip to Atyrau. He said that as this is a government program, it was submitted to the president for approval.

The program for the development of the Caspian lasts until 2015. The main developers of the program are the Kazakh Energy and Natural Resource Ministry and KazMunaiGaz. Before being confirmed by the government, the program was approved by interested ministries and departments, which made adjustments.

The initial draft of the development program calls for the plan to be carried out in three stages.

The first stage covers the period from 2003 to 2005, during which it is planned to create conditions for the overall development of resources. Plans call for an increase geological exploration work so as to increase hydrocarbon reserves and to ensure the rapid development of onshore infrastructure to make it possible to increase offshore operations in the Caspian.

During the second stage - from 2006 to 2010, it is planned to speed up development of the Caspian, and in the third stage - from 2011 to 2015 - to stabilize production. By 2005 the government plans to invest $11 billion in the oil industry, in 2006-2010 - $20 billion and in 2011-2015 - $21 billion, Kazakh Energy and Mineral Resource Minister Vladimir Shkolnik said. The country plans to produce 50 million tons of oil per year by 2015.