Kazakhstan set to open pipeline to China
Updated: 2005-12-15 07:05
Kazakhstan is due to open the valves Thursday on a major pipeline carrying
oil to China.
For the vast Central
Asian nation, which is expected to become one of the world's largest oil
exporters, the 625-mile pipeline opens a huge market. It is designed to carry
140 million barrels of oil annually to China.
Technicians do the welding after connecting
the oil pipeline linking China and Kazakhstan in the Alataw Pass Monday
November 14, 2005. [Xinhua]
For China, the new route is a key achievement in its efforts to secure
energy supplies for its booming economy.
The pipeline is a 50-50 joint venture between state companies China National
Petroleum Corp. and KazMunaiGaz.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev is expected to push a button at
KazMunaiGaz headquarters in the capital, Astana, to open the flow from the
pipeline that starts in the central town of Atasu, 174 miles to the south.
Kazakhstan, which possesses the largest oil deposits in the energy-rich
Caspian Sea, currently produces about 1.3 million barrels a day, according to
the Oil Ministry. By 2015, its oil output is expected to reach 3 million barrels
Until now, the main route for Kazakh oil exports has been the Caspian
Pipeline, which was launched in 2001 to join the giant Tengiz oil field in
western Kazakhstan with Russia's Black Sea port of Novorossiisk.