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Russia, Kazakhstan ink Caspian oil deal

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian on Thursday signed a deal with Kazakhstan to jointly drill for oil prospects in the Caspian Sea.

Russian on Thursday signed a deal with Kazakhstan to jointly drill for oil prospects in the Caspian Sea.

The deal was signed by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.

The deal sees to both countries assuming sovereign rights for subsoil exploration and exploitation. Putin said the agreement provides the "delimitation of the northern part of the Caspian Sea".

"This will allow companies of the two countries to begin development of the large hydrocarbon deposit Tsentralnaya," he told reporters after a meeting with Nazarbayev.

"We have big plans for joint extraction of oil in the Caspian," he added.

Putin also emphasized that most of the Kazakh oil would be exported through the Russian territory, but did not provide any additional information about its route.

The Caspian Sea has not been explored thoroughly for oil and gas deposits as a result of disputes over seabed boundaries that are yet to be demarcated among its five littoral states - Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.

Russian media say the deal that Putin and Nazarbayev signed envisions the introduction of some changes to the Russian-Kazakh agreement on the delimitation of the seabed of the Caspian Sea's northern part.

This protocol has been drafted since the mid-2014. Its signing will allow the Russian government to acquire a license for geological prospecting and the production of oil and gas at the Tsentralnoye field on the Caspian Sea shelf, Interfax reported.

The license is expected to be issued without a tender and a contest for 25 years, with a period of geological mineral resource exploration of up to seven years.

The Tsentralnaya structure is located in the Russian waters of the Caspian Sea, 180 kilometers east of Makhachkala. In May 2008, an oil and gas condensate deposit with 169.1 million tonnes of fuel reserves was discovered there.

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