Exclusive interview of Trend with the Energy Minister of Kazakhstan, Baktikoj Izmukhambetov
Question: What are your visions on the perspectives of the Azerbaijani-Kazakh cooperation in the energy sphere?
Answer: In compliance with the agreements specified in the Ankara declaration, which was signed by the Presidents of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Uzbekistan in October 1998 and Istanbul declaration signed by the heads of state of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and the United States in November 1999, Astana and Baku closely cooperate in the establishment of the East-West energy corridor through the construction of the Aktau-Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil export pipeline.
With this respect at present the sides are preparing for signing of an agreement on assistance and support to the oil transportation via the Caspian Sea and territory of Azerbaijan.
Question: Baku considers that an intergovernmental agreement with Kazakhstan on oil pumping via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export oil pipeline can be signed in 2006. In what stage are the talks now? Who is authorized by the part of Kazakhstan to ink the document?
Answer: At present the sides are in the final stage of the talks over the draft agreement. We hope the document will be signed soon. The sides will hold a meeting shortly for final coordination of the text of an agreement and define a person to ink the document.
Question: Has Kazakhstan set up the development of a transport agreement, which will follow the intergovernmental agreement on joint oil pumping via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export oil pipeline? When it is expected to sign the agreement?
Answer: In compliance with the agreement achieved by the sides upon the signing and ratification of an agreement on assistance and support to the oil transportation via the Caspian and Azerbaijani territory in the order specified in the legislations of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, the sides will set up the development of a packet of agreement with the governments of host countries.
The agreements will be concluded between the governments of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan with every investor who will participate in the implementation of the project in the territory of these countries. The designing of a transport agreement will start upon the signing of an agreement when a list of investors and terms for their participation will be defined exactly.
Question: Some shareholders in the project on Kashagan field development concluded a contract with Р'РўРЎ РЎРѕ. pipeline company on oil pumping for several years. What other directions of export can be used for oil to be lifted from Kashagan?
Answer: Within the frames of assimilation of the fields we consider several potential directions of oil exprt. These are the existing export systems with the consideration of their possible expansion - CPC, Atirau-Samara, Atasu-Alashankow, the transportation via the port of Aktau and railway transportation. Taking into consideration 15%-stake of the North-Caspian investors (ENI, TOTAL, CONOCOPHILLIPS and INPEX) in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export oil pipeline, we consider the Kazakh Caspian System of Transportation (the Atirau-Aktau-Baku route) as a priority direction for Kazakh oil export among other new routes.
Question: Will Kazakhstan welcome possible construction of subsea oil pipeline via the Caspian for oil export through the territory of Azerbaijan?
Answer: The sides are panning to establish oil transportation infrastructure Aktau-Baku (official title adopted in the agreement is Trans-Caspian system), which will enable to carry out transportation of Kazakh oil, starting from the terminal to the Caspian coast in Kazakhstan through vessels, or another transportation infrastructure, to the terminal located in the Azerbaijani section of the sea. After the Aktau-Baku system will be connected to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and/or to other export oil transportation infrastructures placed in the territory of Azerbaijan.
Moreover, an issue on the construction of pipeline is still be coordinated by the Caspian littoral countries. With this purpose in this stage we did not consider project on the construction of the subsea oil pipeline in Caspian for oil export via the territory of Azerbaijan.
Question: Will Kazakhstan prefer the Aktau port, or keep its plans on the construction of a new one in Kurik under the oil transportation from the Kashagan field to the exit flange of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline? Will the capacity of Kurik enough sufficient for delivery of entire amount of oil allocated for the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline?
Answer: At present Kazakhstan is considering opportunities for the construction of new sea oil terminal in Kurik and with this respect we plan to set up the development of grounds of investments shortly. More exact resolution on oil transportation system in the territory of Kazakhstan will be adopted upon completion of the said exploration work.
Question: How much capital is required for the establishment of entire infrastructure of the Aktau-Baku corridor, needed for pumping Kazakh oil via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline?
Answer: Under the Aktau-Baku system we imply terminals in the Caspian Sea port of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan with the connecting constructions. The investors of this system are expected to be KazMunayGas national company, or affiliate companies, north Caspian investors, while the participation of the interested sides is not ruled out as well. With respect to the cost, I should say that exact data will be known upon completion of development of the grounds of investments.