Oil officials of Central Asia and US meet near Tengiz

Jan 27, 1999 01:00 AM

Energy officials from the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan will meet near the Caspian Sea from March 13-20, 1999 to advance their oil and gas industries' prospects for increased foreign investment. The seventeen energy officials will participate in a U. S. government-sponsored program designed to help their countries further develop the laws and regulations necessary to strengthen their oil and gas sectors.

"We are delighted to deliver this important program which will bring together Central Asian energy officials and leading Western oil and gas experts" stated Bruce A. Reznik, president of Legal Technical & Advisory Services (LTAS).
Washington, D. C.-based LTAS provides custom-designed training programs on legal and business matters for government and business officials of developing countries.
This initiative, entitled "Legislation, Policy and Regulations of the Oil and Gas Sectors," takes place in Atyrau, Kazakhstan, civilisation's closest outpost to the massive Tengiz oil field. The three-country delegation will hold meetings with the Western representatives and conduct a simulated environmental and safety inspection of the Tengiz field.

The oil and gas resources of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are helping these countries strengthen their economic independence from Russia. Since achieving their political independence in 1991, these states have taken measures to adopt market economies, and implement the legal and regulatory practices needed to develop their considerable energy resources. The Atyrau program will help this process. U. S. interests are served by Central Asian independence, stability, and regional co-operation.

Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan stand to be major energy suppliers.
Kazakhstan's massive Tengiz field alone is estimated to hold between 6 - 9 bn barrels of oil reserves. Turkmenistan contains formidable natural gas reserves, as well as oil.
Uzbekistan, which also has very large gas deposits, is the only country to have substantially increased its oil production since independence.

The lure of Central Asian energy riches has sparked both co-operation and rivalries over exploration, production, and transportation opportunities. All three countries have engaged in discussions with the world's major energy companies to help develop their oil and gas resources. Alliances have been formed both to explore and develop oil fields and to transport the hydrocarbons through pipelines. The Tengiz field, for example, is operated by Tengizchevroil, a consortium comprised of Chevron, Mobil, the Kazakhstan-owned oil and gas company, Kazakhoil, and LUKArco.

"Top people are being brought in from the western side to meet with the Central Asian energy officials," Reznik noted. "We are pleased that the following organisations are participating in the program: the U. S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; the Texas Railroad Commission; Tengizchevroil; Mobil Oil; and oil and gas experts from the law firms of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld; Bracewell & Patterson; Mayer, Brown & Platt; and Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts."
This contract was awarded to LTAS pursuant to its America's Best TM training programs, in accordance with a competitive bidding process. Program funding is being supplied by USAID under an omnibus contract administered by the Academy for Educational Development (AED.)

Source: not available
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