Kazakhstan risks missing Euro-4 petrol production deadlines25 july 2013, 18:34
Kazakhstan-based oil refineries risk missing the deadline to launch production of petrol meeting the Euro-4 emission standards by 2016, Tengrinews.kz reports, citing Sergei Smirnov, an oil and gas expert with the Institute for Political Solutions.
In line with the regulations in force within the Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus, Kazakhstan is supposed to fully shift to producing petrol meeting the Euro-4 and Euro-5 emission standards by January 1, 2016. However, according to Mr. Smirnov, the oil and gas ministry won’t be able to meet the deadline given that the country’s oil refineries are being overhauled.
“Two of the country’s four oil refineries – the ones based in Pavlodar and Shymkent – have no estimates complete for the overhaul. Later on, the facilities will have to arrange bidding contests to purchase equipment, have the equipment assembled, have the staff specially trained “, the expert said, adding that one of the reasons behind repeated delays of the overhaul at the country’s oil refineries is that the Kazakh oil production industry is primarily export-oriented.
Sergei Smirnov, oil and gas expert with the Institute for Political Solutions. Photo courtesy of megapolis.kz
According to his estimates, the oil refineries process about 14 million tons of crude, with 7 million of them being Russian crude. “Is it feasible to raise the volume up to 18-19.5 million tons by 2016? It’s hardly plausible to secure so much crude”, the expert believes, adding “it’s too early to count on oil coming from the giant Kashagan oilfield to be reportedly launched later this year”.
The expert believes the decision to ban imports of cars short of Euro-4 emission standards is illogical. “If one drives a car requiring Euro-4 petrol, the engine will be damaged by the locally-produced petrol. Besides, all the harmful substances such as benzene and sulfur that are inherent to Euro-2 petrol will still be emitted into the atmosphere. Thus, the ban on car imports will have no environmental effect (…) Such a decision should only be taken starting from 2016”, Mr. Smirnov said.