"The agreement establishes the legal bases of the activity of Kazakhstan and Russia in the person of the authorized organizations for the joint development of subsurface resources in the northern part of the Caspian Sea. On 15 October 2015 the Presidents of Kazakhstan and Russia signed a protocol on amendments to the Protocol to the Agreement of 2002 in part to exploration at the deposit "Central". Deposit "Central" is located in the Russian sector, closer to the central part of the Caspian Sea, 150 kilometers south-west of Aktau and 440 km from Astrakhan. The water depth at the site of works is from 350 to 500 meters. According to preliminary data of the Federal Agency for Subsoil Use, recoverable reserves amount to 90 million tons of oil. The main motive of the amendments is the refusal of the Federal Agency for Subsoil Use of the Russian Federation to consider the application of a joint venture of the oil and gas company "Central" for a license for exploration and production and to conduct further explorations", Deputy Energy Minister of Kazakhstan Asset Magauov has said at the plenary session of the Senate of the Kazakh Parliament.
The purpose of the bill is the further formation of the legal framework for the activities of two parties in the development of the subsoil of the northern part of the Caspian Sea, in particular, the joint development of hydrocarbon resources of the geological structure "Central".
The protocol contains the provisions providing for the company the right to use subsurface resources in the structure "Central" for the exploration, development, mining and minerals without holding an auction for a period of 25 years from the stage of geological study for a period of 7 years with the use of general taxation regime; providing the businesses the right to continue the use of mineral resources using a common tax regime or to conclude an agreement on production sharing with the Government of the Russian Federation; paying company, established by the legislation of the Russian Federation, one-time payment for the use of subsoil for subsoil plot, which is available for use within three months after the approval in the prescribed manner of the design documentation for development of the field at the site subsoil.
Ratification of the Protocol would allow the legislation to regulate the issue of further joint development of the geological structure "Central". And also it will ensure the conditions for long-term cooperation and deepening of relations in all fields of application of the previously signed Protocol.