South Ossetia Events May Affect Bulked Cargo Redirected via Caucasus Corridor: Experts

Oil&Gas Materials 11 August 2008 16:53 (UTC +04:00)

Kazakhstan, Astana, 11 August / Trend vorr. K.Konirova / Some Kazakh experts forecast the current events in Georgia will force oil owners to think off to redirect their transport flows via the Caucasian corridor through other ways," special correspondent of Trend reported in Astana.

Karim Masimov, Kazakh Prime Minister commissioned the Energy and Mineral Resources ministry and National Oil and Gas company KazMunayGaz to consider the possibility to redirect oil export from the Caucasus corridor to internal market.

According to Serik Burkitbyev, President of KazMunayGaz, about million ton of oil per year may be redirected from the south to internal market.

A source from an oil industry sector told Trend , commenting KazMunayGaz President, that "million ton of oil is not a large volume to regret for".

"Nevertheless, such a situation is not profitable either for Azerbaijan or Georgia, which will feel loses from oil transit via their own territories," the source said.

Burkitbyev doubted that the oil produces company would intend to direct about million ton of oil to internal market at the current high oil prices.

"The oil will be transported either via China or Iran as the north direction, i.e. via Russia, is full," expert said.

Furthermore, according to the specialist, the events in South Ossetia and Georgia, in spite of the territorial remoteness, caused serious concern amongst Kazakh oil industry workers.

Since 2007, KazMiunayGaz acquired 100% share in the Batumi port in the Black Sea. Another Georgian port - Poty, was damaged as the result of bombing.

Burkitbyev said in the selector meeting that in spite of the Batumi port was not damaged as the result of events in Georgia, there was still danger. "Batumi port was not damaged like Poty. However, we have withdraw all ships and tankers from the area," Burkitbyev said.

By acquiring a terminal in Batumi, the republic intended to transport oil to oil refining via it, as well as the Azerbaijan- Georgian Baku- Supsa oil pipeline, to Rumanian Konstantsa port. Acquiring 75% shares in the oil concern Rompetrol, Kazakh company planned to enter European market.

"Kazakhstan may deliver t oil via the Russian Atirau- Samara oil pipeline before Romania; however, we hope that until the 'Kazakh oil' to be transported, the situation in Caucasus, in particular in Georgia, will be normalized," a source said.

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