Astana believes that the construction of an oil pipeline to Iran...
Astana believes that the construction of an oil pipeline to Iran will benefit Kazakhstan both politically and economically.
In particular, Kazakh Economy and Trade Minister Zhaksybek Kulekeyev thinks the project "very attractive" from the economic point of view. He reckons that the Iranian route is "the most beneficial" for exporting Kazakh oil.
In an interview with Interfax-Kazakhstan, the minister said that Kazakh oil could gain swift access to the world market through the pipeline.
He says that, because of the warm climate in the areas where the pipelines will be laid, it will not be expensive to operate them, and this will make it easier to set relatively low oil transportation charges.
At the same time, if the project is implemented, the minister drew attention to a number of difficulties arising from the situation in Turkmenistan and Iran, through which the pipeline will run.
In an interview with Interfax-Kazakhstan, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Dulat Kuanyshev said that, as regards implementing the project for transporting oil towards Iran, Kazakhstan was assuming that, in the future, the country's hydrocarbon output would exceed the capacity of the existing pipelines, including that of the CPC [Caspian Pipeline Consortium].
For that reason, he says, alternative options, particularly the Kazakhstan-Iran pipeline, are "a realistic necessity, rather than a state whim or a wish to please someone".