Kazakhstan poses as transit country for Russian gas to China26 march 2015, 23:49
Astana has offered Moscow to supply gas to China through the territory of Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports citing Kommersant.
Earlier, Gazprom and Beijing agreed to construct a new pipeline - Power of Siberia - to supply gas from Eastern Siberia to China. They are also conducting talks on transportation of gas from Altai directly to China along a western route.
Head of KazMunaiGas Sauat Mynbayev said that the two countries could use the existing supply route from Russia to the south of Kazakhstan along Bukhara - Ural and Bozoi - Shymkent pipelines that are connected to Central Asia – China gas main. Currently Beijing receives gas from Turkmenistan along this trunk pipeline.
Mynbayev resorted that at that point gas from Bozoi - Shymkent pipeline could not be sent into Central Asia – China gas main due to the low pressure in the former pipe. But he assured that Kazakhstan intended to increase the capacity of Bozoi - Shymkent pipeline from 2.5 billion to 10 billion cubic meters per year by installing compressor stations.
"If there is interest - and some interest is visible already – in transportation of gas (from Russia) to China, we need to install small compressor stations - we are doing this as we speak - and then the gas will flow along that route,” the head of the national oil and gas company of Kazakhstan said.
“There is no need to invent anything or build new pipelines to run this project. We can use the existing pipelines," he said.
Gazprom offered no comments on the initiative of the Kazakh side. However, a source in the Russian gas company told Kommersant that the proposal was not very attractive.
According to analysts, neither Russia nor China are interested in having to deal with a transit country, "even the one as friendly as Kazakhstan."
Writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina