$1B Kazakh, Abu Dhabi energy deal inked

July 21, 2008 at 8:43 PM

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, July 21 (UPI) -- The governments of Abu Dhabi and Kazakhstan announced a $1 billion investment venture to develop oil and gas projects in Kazakhstan, officials said.

Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Co., along with the Kazakh government, announced the creation of the Falah Fund following a three-day visit to the country by Khalifa bin Zayed, the president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi daily The National reported Monday.

Kazakhstan has experienced a thriving economy in the midst of rising prices in the oil and gas sectors. The two governments announced similar ventures earlier this year totaling $4 billion to invest in Kazakh and regional projects.

Kazakhstan is positioning itself, along with the Caucasus region of southeastern Europe, as a halfway point linking natural resources from East to West.

The IPIC deal will prompt other UAE companies to follow suit, the report said, adding trade between the two countries approached $140 million between January and May.

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