Caspian Route of Kazakhstani Oil

Caspian Route of Kazakhstani Oil

The idea of Transcaspian oil pipeline Aktau-Baku construction occurred in the mid of 90-s of the past century and Is directly connected with promotion of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project. The initiators of the project considered that connection to Kazakhstani oil would allow the maximum load for exporting oil pipeline and enhance the involvement of Kazakhstan into Caspian hydrocarbons transportation. Initially the plans suggested finalization of the pipeline construction by 2003-2004.

 

Complications with development of the fields in Kazakhstan and constant revision of oil product forecasts have not reduced the interest of Kazakhstan to the idea of oil transportation via Transcaspian pipeline. This is proven by multiple statements of Kazakhstan representatives and the agreements signed. Moreover, during various periods of time on the average 2-3 million tons of Kazakhstani oil were transported through the territory of Azerbaijan annually, and the oil was delivered by Caspian Sea in tankers. It was expected that the scopes would rise up to 5 million tons, and in prospect would comprise up to 20-25 million tons. It was suggested that the Aktau-Baku route would turn into an independent route of Kazakhstani oil transportation.

 

Persistent interest of Kazakhstan to the project of the Transcaspian oil pipeline is defined by the indexes of oil production, which tend to grow. In 2013 oil production in Kazakhstan increased up to 81.8 million tons and according to forecasts, which ground on the expectation of successful development of the fields, it shall grow. However, the complications,, which Kazakhstan faces in course of oil production, allows expecting additional scopes of hydrocarbon resources after 2020-2025. Until then the operating pipelines are able to pump Kazakhstani hydrocarbons. So that, the main export directions for Kazakhstani hydrocarbons shall include Russia (primarily through the pipeline system of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium the capacity of which after 2015 should grow up to 67 million tons) and China. And only in prospect Kazakhstan may need extra export capacities to enhance the interest towards new pipeline projects, including towards the route through the Caspian Sea. However, the rates of oil fields development in Kazakhstan are preliminary.

 

Nevertheless, not waiting till the new fields reach the maximum production level, Kazakhstan strives to diversify the routes for its oil supplies. In the end of 2013 Kazakhstan adopted a decision about transportation of hydrocarbon resources by the Caspian Sea in the scope of 4 million tons of oil. 3 million tons of this scope shall flow into the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and 1 million tons shall be transported by railway to the Georgian Kulevi terminal in the Black Sea.

 

The USA as well as the EU actively impose to the Caspian region their pipeline projects, grounded on political decisions Transcaspian gas and oil pipelines, which are suggested by Brussels to enhance energy security of European countries and pre-Caspian states, lead to the opposite result: they promote interstate contradictions in the Caspian region and jeopardize Caspian environment.

 

Maybe, the interest of western countries to the projects of transportation of hydrocarbon resources under the bottom of the Caspian Sea would be less, provided pre-Caspian states would have had more balanced policy within this issue. Moreover the states of the region yet do not possess the resources, which can be transported via Transcaspian pipelines. Nevertheless, pre-Caspian states keep on stating about significant stocks of hydrocarbon raw materials and confirm the readiness to participate in new pipeline projects.

 

As history shows, the states of pre-Caspian region and out-of- the-region states often observe the development of Caspian fields and the rates of new pipeline projects accomplishment on the ground of political agreements and treaties. However, geopolitical interests and complications with industrial development introduce significant corrections forcing to revise earlier forecasts repeatedly.

 

 

World media monitoring

 

 

12.03.2014

 

 

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