Moscow-Astana Caspian Project

Moscow-Astana Caspian ProjectMoscow-Astana Caspian Project

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev have signed an agreement to jointly develop the northern Caspian Sea oil deposits. "We [Russia and Kazakhstan] have big plans on joint oil production in the Caspian Sea," said Putin after the meeting, adding that Russia is a transit for Kazakhstan's oil to foreign markets. Presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said the document regulated oil production at the Tsentralnaya site in the North Caspian Sea. Putin said the economies of both Russia and Kazakhstan are experiencing difficult times, but trade between the two countries is growing in ruble terms. According to Putin, more than 6,000 Russian companies are working in Kazakhstan. The Caspian region holds an estimated 48 billion barrels of oil and more than 8 trillion cubic meters of natural gas in proven and probable reserves. The announcement by Russia and Kazakhstan comes as Iran has yet to extract crude from its Caspian waters, despite exponential growth in terms of extraction from southern oil and gas fields.