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South Korea Receives Big Caspian Cut

Joint development projects should yield huge dividends for Seoul...

South Korea and Kazakhstan have signed an agreement on the joint development of oil fields in the Caspian Sea, home to one of the world's largest oil reserves, Seoul's top energy policymaker said.

South Korea's Minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy Lee Hee-bum disclosed the agreement after wrapping up his visit to the Central Asian nation. The two countries also inked an agreement on conducting joint mineral resource surveys in Kazakhstan, the minister said.

Lee had started a six-day trip to Kazakhstan and Germany Wednesday, but had to abruptly cancel the remainder of his schedule in Kazakhstan and Germany following the passage of a parliamentary bill to impeach President Roh Moo-hyun Friday.

Some 70 government and private-sector representatives, including Korea National Oil Corp President Yi Ok-su, Korea Gas Corp head Oh Kang-hyun and Korea Resources Corp chief Park Chun-taek, accompanied the minister.