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Kazakhstan

Oil Exploration: A Visit To ‘Island D,’ The Caspian Sea's Coming Black Gold Mine

Exploiting the oil reserves in the Caspian Sea has proven more difficult then expected. But after more than a decade of preparation, the Kashagan project – hailed as the largest oil project in the world – is finally inching its way towards completion.

The Caspian Sea as seen from space
The Caspian Sea as seen from space
Benjamin Quénelle

KASHAGAN -- Umberto Carrara spreads his arms. "In front of you is the largest oil project in the world!" Bundled up in orange, the director of this vast construction site has just landed in his helicopter on Island D, the heart of this enormous deposit of black gold in Kashagan.

Located in the Caspian Sea, in Kazakhstan's territorial waters, seven companies, including France's Total, have been working together here to exploit the potential reserves of at least 10 billion barrels of oil. "On land, things are 97% ready, offshore, 94% ready. The first drops of oil will be extracted by the end of 2012," Umberto Carrara says enthusiastically.

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The Mural ‘St. Javelina’ depicting a Madonna holding a javelin anti-tank missile that has been crucial for the Ukrainian defense, has been painted on a building of the Solomianskyi district of Kyiv.

Lila Paulou and Lisa Berdet.

👋 Hafa adai!*

Welcome to Friday, where Russia warns Ukraine about attacks inside its territory, a video of deadly Brazilian police violence sparks outrage and a grandmother in New Zealand takes on Elon Musk and Tesla. We also feature a story from Buenos Aires daily Clarin about "Agrotokens," a way that farmers in Argentina are turning surplus grain into a kind of tangible cryptocurrency.

[*Chamorro, Mariana Islands]

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