MOSCOW, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom said it was interested in future prospects in the oil and natural gas sector in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan.
Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller met with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev in Moscow to discuss potential oil and natural gas work.
"The meeting discussed Gazprom's possible participation in privatization of Kyrgyz oil and gas facilities," Gazprom said. "Special consideration was given to the company's entry in the shareholding structure of (natural gas company) Kyrgyzgaz."
Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports that Gazprom is examining an offer to buy 75 percent of Kyrgyzgaz for $1 to help the company settle debts and work toward energy diversity.
"The deal to buy Kyrgyzgas would allow Gazprom to start prospecting and developing ... two gas deposits," the report stated.
Gazprom said it estimated the proven natural gas reserves in the republic at around 211 billion cubic feet, but said development is hindered by the lack of infrastructure and "geological peculiarities."
Littoral states to the Caspian Sea are emerging as major energy players. The International Energy Agency in July recognized the important role of the Caspian region in global energy markets.