Kazakh official says oil pipeline to China not feasible under current conditions

Jul 05, 1999 02:00 AM

Mukhtar Ablyazov, Kazakhstan's minister of energy, trade and industry, said on July 3 that plans to build a very long export pipeline from Kazakhstan to China would not be practical unless world oil prices rose.
Under current conditions, Ablyazov said, it is far more economical to export Kazakh oil via swaps with Iran.
In any case, the project appears to be all but stalled. Kazakhstan's state oil pipeline operator and the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) have not yet turned in their feasibility study, and Kazakh officials have expressed scepticism that the Chinese company is truly committed to building the pipeline.
Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev was expected to hold discussions on the project during a recent trip to Beijing.

CNPC agreed to build the 3,000-km pipeline within the framework of a nearly $ 10 billion investment deal signed in 1997. The pipe would run from the Aktobe region of western Kazakhstan to the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region in western China. The 1997 deal also called for CNPC to build a pipeline from Kazakhstan to Iran. The line too has yet to be built.

Source: NewsBase
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