Kazakhstan to export gas, oil through Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline

As part of its ongoing attempts to discover export channels that do not go via Russia, Kazakhstan intends to transfer up to 1.5 million tons of oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in 2022, Eurasianet reported.

According to the government’s expectations, yearly exports through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline should eventually reach 6-6.5 million tons, prime minister Alikhan Smailov said in a statement to media on November 10.

Currently, more than two-thirds of Kazakhstan’s oil exports are routinely routed through Russia and into Europe. The Middle Corridor, which includes the Caspian Sea and the group of nations that includes Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, has, nevertheless, recently received significant attention for its potential development.

According to Smailov, Kazakhstan’s export route diversification plan relies on the use of tankers from the port of Aktau to provide oil into the Baku-Supsa pipeline, which terminates on the Black Sea coast of Georgia, and trains traveling along the Baku-Batumi railway line, as well as trains traveling from the oil-rich area of Atyrau to Uzbekistan and China.

It will cost money to invest in transportation to move all this oil. The largest oil company in Kazakhstan, Tengizchevroil, which is working to develop the Tengiz field in the Atyrau area, has increased the number of rail tank cars at its disposal and has already started making test shipments by railway to Georgia and Uzbekistan, according to Smailov.

However, the amount of oil transported via the other channels is still minuscule in comparison. The Caspian Pipeline Consortium route, which travels through Russia for hundreds of kilometers before arriving at the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, carried 54 million tons of oil from Kazakhstan last year for export to Europe. The majority of the remaining 86 million tons produced by Kazakhstan was sent to China.

But in the long run, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev remains upbeat. On November 7, he predicted that the amount of oil passing through the two Kazakhstani ports of Aktau and Kuryk on the trans-Caspian route will eventually rise to 20 million tons annually. He was speaking at a public event in the western Mangystau area. He didn’t say how long it would take to accomplish that aim.

Kazakhstan intends to increase annual production to 100 million tons by 2025, according to Nurlan Zhumagulov, chief executive of the Union of Oilfield Service Companies, a lobbying organization. This will be accomplished primarily by increasing output capacity at Tengizchevroil and the Kashagan mega-field.

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