The $20 Billion Breakthrough In Kazakhstan

A pipeline deal could finally get Kazakh oil flowing

For a closely watched oil-pipeline megadeal that had been bogged down in controversy for four years, the apparent resolution came fast: Meeting in Kazakhstan's capital of Alma Ata on Apr. 27, a dozen oil companies from six nations signed a contract for a critical $1.5 billion pipeline. Four hours later, the supporting protocols were inked by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Russian leader Boris N. Yeltsin, who had dropped in on his way back from a summit in China.

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