EC enhances energy ooperation with Kazakhstan
Brussels, Belgium – Commissioner Piebalgs started his official visit to Kazakhstan, a major oil and gas producer in Central Asia, 2006-05-04, in order to discuss the possibilities for enhancing energy cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU. He is joined by representatives of the European oil and gas industry and will meet with numerous high level officials during his stay. The event marks the very first visit to Kazakhstan of any European Energy Commissioner.
“Strengthening discussions with Kazakhstan in the energy sector is of great importance for improving the security of energy supplies to the EU” underlined the Commissioner.
Discussions with senior Kazakh representatives will involve the modalities of enhancing energy cooperation and new export routes from the Caspian region to the EU. The Commissioner will hold bilateral meetings with the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, as well as visit the Kashagan oil field, considered to be the largest oil discovery in the North Caspian Sea.
The Commissioner is accompanied by senior representatives of the European oil and gas industry to discuss further investment opportunities in the energy sector in Kazakhstan with the national administration and the local energy industry.
As well as being an important gas producer, Kazakhstan boasts the largest recoverable oil reserves in the Caspian region – at least 95 billion barrels of oil – and is an important partner for the EU in Central Asia. It is also one of the participants in the regional cooperation initiative that brings together Black Sea and Caspian Sea countries and the EU that was initiated on the occasion of the Ministerial Conference on Energy cooperation in 2004. On the occasion of the Commissioner’s visit, Kazakhstan has confirmed its support for this initiative by agreeing to host the second Ministerial Conference to be held in November 2006.