Gulnur Rakhmatulina, Ph.D. (Econ.), head of the Economic Research Department, Kazakhstan Institute of Strategic Research under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Almaty, Kazakhstan)

It stands to reason that the resource-rich Central Asian Region (CAR), which is located at the crossroads between the Near and Middle East, South Asia, China, and Russia and is also in direct proximity to the countries experiencing energy starvation, is of important geostrategic significance. It is a well-known fact that CAR has vast energy potential. Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan have large supplies of oil and gas resources, which enjoy demand on the world market. In particular, 22 raw hydrocarbon fields have been developed in Kazakhstan, particularly in the Caspian Depression and South Turgai.

The State Development Program of the Kazakhstan Sector of the Caspian Sea (KSCS) bodes well for increasing the volumes of hydrocarbon production in the republic. The forecasted reserves of this raw material in the sections and structures where work has begun alone top 2 billion tons of oil equivalent. By 2010, oil production will amount to 90 million tons and gas production to 52.5 bcm, while by 2015, these figures will have risen to 150 million tons and 79.4 bcm, respectively (according to the data of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan). In 2006, oil production reached 65 million tons, and natural gas production amounted to 27 bcm.

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have unique hydropower potential. Its rational use will make it possible to..

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