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Russia: Bidding For Oil Exploration Projects Delayed In Dagestan

Makhachkala, 27 August 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Moscow has decided to postpone for at least six months the bidding for the right to develop several oil deposits in the Caspian Sea, says an official of Dagestan's Ministry of Industry, Transportation and Communciations.

The postponement will allow more major oil companies to bid on the project, the official told Interfax yesterday. Bids are now expected to be let late next year for the exploration projects.

Russia's government has also received a proposal to upgrade commercial fishing in the Caspian. The aim of the program is to increase the sturgeon population, which has decreased alarmingly over the last decade. The program is expected to be funded by the five Caspian states: Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran.