Kazakh minister to visit India Sunday

August 23rd, 2008 - 9:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) Kazakh Deputy Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Bulat Akchulakov will visit India Sunday to attend a joint working group meeting on hydrocarbons.He will discuss the prospects of increased role for Indian companies in oil-rich Kazakhstan.

India has been eying the Central Asian region for a long time to meet its energy needs, but has so far been trumped by China.

Earlier this year, India’s Vice-President Mohammed Hamid Ansari had undertaken a four-day state visit to Kazakhstan.

In 2005, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Oil and Natural Gas Corp, was pipped to the post by Chinese company Sinopec to acquire Kazakhstan’s PetroKazakh.

However, a joint venture of ONGC and Mittal group, ONGC Mittal Energy Ltd is still in talks with PetroKazakh authorities to acquire stake in two hydrocarbon blocks.

Bilateral trade between India and Kazakhstan has risen from $80 million in 2004 to about $200 million in 2007.

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