Oil Minister on Kazakhstan’s export capabilities amidst possible sanctions against neighboring Russia07 april 2014, 13:02
Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Oil and Gas is considering sending its crude to the Black Sea port in Georgia’s Batumi among other things in case Russia faces economic sanctions, Newskaz.ru reports, citing the country’s Oil Minister Uzakbai Karabalin as saying before the Majilis (lower chamber).
“These are questions to be forwarded to the Foreign Ministry (…) however, we cannot feel relaxed and wait for what might happen. We cannot predict what sanctions on the part of the West Russia may face (…) should export capabilities for Kazakh crude be hit by the sanctions, our exports would be reduced”, the Minister said.
“We should think of other possibilities (…) these might be growing volumes shipped via the Caspian sea to Azerbaijan and Georgia (…) Kazakhstan’s Caspian sea port in Aktau now exports about 12 million tons of crude. Should sanctions against Iran be lifted, we could rely on the route to Iran, which used to be an effective way for us a while ago”.
“The route to China remains important. The Atasu-Alashankow part of the pipeline is capable of shipping 20 million tons, with the rest of the pipeline being less capable: the Kenkiyak-Kumkol is only capable of shipping 12 million and some parts of only 3.6 million tons. There is a program to bring up the figure to 20 million tons on all the parts of the pipeline within the following two years. Besides, there is some need for crude and petroleum products in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. This direction could also be considered”, he elaborated.
In case of economic sanctions against Russia, part of Russian-made petroleum products may inflow into Kazakhstan. “It might be somewhat harmful for the domestic refineries and result in overstocking”, he said.