EU, Kazakhstan strengthen energy links

The European Commission and Kazakhstan have signed an agreement that lays the foundation for deeper energy co-operation. Caspian oil, gas and uranium are among the EU’s chief objectives.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on Monday (4 December) sets the framework for deeper cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan. It was completed by a co-operation agreement to develop nuclear trade.

“Kazakhstan holds approximately 20% of the world’s known reserves of uranium, which makes it the third-largest producer in the world,” the Commission stated.

“With these two documents, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the European Union have laid the foundations for constructive co-operation in the energy sector which will be extremely fruitful for both parties,” explained Commission President José Manuel Barroso.

At a press conference, Kazakh President Noursoultan Nazarbaev said that trade and economic relations in general, not only energy, were the main pillars of co-operation between the two parties. He cited the diversification of the Kazak economy and “accession to the WTO” as chief objectives for his country.

The MoU establishes two road maps – on energy security and industrial cooperation -which includes regular meetings aimed at bringing Kazakhstan’s energy regulations closer to that of the EU.

The document cites the development of the Odessa – Brody – Plock oil pipeline as “new energy transportation infrastructure of mutual interest”.

Kazakhstan oil reserves are estimated at 9 billion barrels and natural gas reserves estimated at around 2 trillion cubic meters, the Commission indicated.

Nazarbaev said that he hoped hydrocarbons from the Caspian basin would make up 25% of EU supplies in the future.

The Commission has already signed similar MoUs with Azerbaijan and Ukraine and an agreement with Algeria is currently in an advanced stage of negotiation, the Commission indicated.

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