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OIL AND GAS
Kazakhstan gets support to diversify away from oil
by Daniel J. Graeber
Washington DC (UPI) Sep 18, 2017


Oil-rich Kazakhstan has ambitions to become a "high-income country," but it needs support to diversify its economy, the Asian Development Bank said.

"Fulfilling the country's potential to become a high-income country will require substantial knowledge contributions and financial resources," Giovanni Capannelli, ADB country director for Kazakhstan, said in a statement.

Since joining the regional bank in 1994, the oil-rich country has received more than $5 billion in loans to support everything from sanitation to agriculture. Home to one of the larger oil fields in the world, Kashagan in the Caspian Sea, an early 2017 report from the International Monetary Fund said economic growth should accelerate because of higher oil production and improved commodity process, following a slowdown last year.

The IMF said the Kazakh economy could grow as fast as 4 percent, in part because it was expanding its options for non-oil revenue. Uncertainty remains, however, because its economy is exposed to external shocks and the "lower-for-longer" prospects for the price of crude oil.

The ADB said it endorsed a new country strategy with Kazakhstan that envisions more than $3 billion in assistance through 2021.

"Kazakhstan is poised to overcome global economic challenges and be more resilient to external shocks and diversified," Capannelli said.

For Central Asia's largest economy, the ADB said it would work on easing access to financial lending at the private sector, address inclusive development issues and support a low-carbon economy that's able to respond to the pressures from climate change.

Oil is Kazakhstan's primary export commodity and the country is party to a multilateral effort led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to balance an oversupplied market with managed production declines.

The Kashagan oil field in Kazakhstan is one of the country's brighter prospects, though development has been impeded by a series of issues with infrastructure in a complex reservoir environment.

OIL AND GAS
August oil production from Norway lower than expected
Washington (UPI) Sep 15, 2017
Total oil production in August from Norway, one of Europe's main suppliers, was slightly lower than expected, the government said Friday. Apart from Russia, Norway is one of the leading energy suppliers to the European economy, designating nearly all of its offshore production for exports. The National Petroleum Directorate reported preliminary figures for August at 1.55 million barrels ... read more

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