Kazakhstan may transport oil through Turkmenistan and Iran

Kazakhstan, Astana, 11 March / Trend D. Mukhtarov /

Kazakhstan does not exclude the possibility of transporting its oil through the new Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway to the Persian Gulf, the general director of KazTransOil JSC Kairgeldy Kabyldin told Trend.

"This route by rail may be organised and most likely will become a reality. However, as it is known, there are some sanctions imposed by the EU and the U.S. against Iran over its nuclear programme and Kazakhstan will consider these risks as well," Kabyldin said.

He said it was too early to talk about specific amounts as all the produced oil is distributed according to existing export routes.

Earlier in an interview with Trend, Ambassador of Iran to Kazakhstan Gorban Seifi said that if at the end of last year trade between the two countries amounted to $1.2 billion, in the next few years, this figure will increase up to $5 billion.

According to the Iranian ambassador it will become possible after commissioning the new Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway.

"The Uzen-Gorgan-Etrek railway should open in the next few months by the summer of this year," he said.

Seifi recalled that the transcontinental line must become the bridge between Europe and Asia. In April 2011, a document on the construction of an international transit transport route Iran-Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Oman-Qatar was signed in Ashgabat. The planned volume of traffic on the route will not exceed 10 million tons a year.

The project will provide access to the Persian Gulf and Central Asia to Asian and European countries. The same opportunity will appear for the transit of goods from South-East and South Asia and the Indian Ocean coast to Eastern and Northern Europe via Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Russia.

This path is several times shorter than travelling through the Suez Canal. In addition, the railway will play a huge role in the development of the social infrastructure of the Caspian region desert areas.

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