Oil pipeline construction from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan under discussion
Kazakhstan, Astana, 28 June / Trend, D. Mukhtarov /
The construction of an oil pipeline from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan is being discussed by the two countries, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kyrgyz Republic to Astana Esengul Omuraliev told Trend.
"The issue of building an oil pipeline from Kazakh city of Shymkent to Kyrgyzstan was raised during the visit of our President Almazbek Atambayev to Astana last spring. Then, leaders of the two countries have instructed the governments of both sides to consider this project. And now it is under discussion," Omuraliev said.
The diplomat explained that the issue of construction of the oil pipeline from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan arose in connection with another project - construction of oil refineries in the country jointly with Azerbaijan.
The Ambassador said that SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) is the Kyrgyz's partner in the construction of a refinery in Kyrgyzstan.
"Representatives of SOCAR's management visited Bishkek, and then the question on the supply of raw materials for future refinery arose. Azerbaijan has invited us to discuss with neighboring Kazakhstan the implementation of oil swap operations between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in order to avoid unnecessary costs associated with the transportation of Azerbaijani oil to Kyrgyzstan," the Ambassador said.
According to him, a working group has been created with the participation of Kyrgyzstan and SOCAR on the construction of an oil refinery in Kyrgyzstan and the joint pipeline. This group is in talks with NC KazMunaiGas on the construction of the pipeline.
Esengul Omuraliev also said the construction of the first refinery in the country with the capacity of about one million tons of oil is nearing completion in the Kyrgyz town of Kara-Balta (70 km from Bishkek).
"A new refinery in Kara-Balta is to be commissioned soon. This plant was built in cooperation with China. The refinery to be built in cooperation with Azerbaijan is the second, and designed to completely cover the country's internal needs in fuel," Omuraliev concluded.
According to him, Kyrgyzstan today is completely dependent on Russian oil. Domestic demand for petroleum products there stands at three million tons per year.