Kazakhstan's state oil and gas company Kazmunaigaz is to sign a deal with Gazprom today to set up a joint venture selling Kazakh gas to Europe, Kazmunaigaz president Lyazzat Kiinov said on Friday. The deal, allowing Kazakh gas to enter Russia's pipeline network and thus reach the European gas market, will mark the first time the vast former Soviet Central Asian state has had direct access to European markets, Kiinov said. Kazakhstan now produces fourteen billion cubic meters per year of natural gas and exports three billion cubic meters. But it has the fifteenth largest recoverable reserves in the world, and as it develops export opportunities it plans to boost output to forty five to fifty billion cubic meters per year by 2015, of which twenty nine to thirty five billion cubic meters will be exported, Kiinov said.
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