|At a Glance:
Among former-Soviet Republics, Kazakhstan's oil and gas resources
are only matched by Azerbaijan's. Since Kazakhstan gained its independence
in 1991, international oil companies have rushed to tap the country's
resources. Since 1993, Chevron has invested more than US$20 billion
in developing the oilfield of Tengiz, in western Kazakhstan. A consortium
including British Gas, Agip and Texaco has invested another US$20
billion to develop the Karachaganak field in northern Kazakhstan.
government of Kazakhstan is actively seeking support for the construction
of an oil pipeline which will channel oil to the European and American
markets. The government of Kazakhstan favors the construction of
an oil pipeline crossing Iran, leading to the Persian Gulf. The
United States lists Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism and a rogue
nation that is secretly developing nuclear weapons. Accordingly,
the United States has consistently resisted suggestions to build
a pipeline across Iran. But at a Dec. 9 news conference with U.S.
Secretary of State Colin Powell, President Nursultan Nazarbayev
of Kazakhstan again brought up the idea of oil and gas pipelines
crossing Iran. Other proposals include laying an oil pipeline which
would cross the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan and Georgia to end at a
Turkish port. But perhaps the most feasible proposal would entail
upgrading the existing network running along the northern coast
of the Caspian Sea, and modernizing the pipeline's terminus at the
Russian port of Novorossisk.
Population: 16,731,303 (July
Industries: Oil, coal, iron
ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite,
gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur, iron and steel, nonferrous metal,
tractors and other agricultural machinery, electric motors, construction
Exports: $8.8 billion, 40 percent
oil and gas (2000).
Union (23 percent), Russia (20 percent), China (8 percent).
Radioactive or toxic chemical sites associated with former defense
industries and test ranges are found throughout the country, industrial
pollution is severe in some cities.
CIA World Factbook