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Kazakhstan to Construct Pipeline To EU

Kazakhstan seeks chances to construct a Trans-Caspian gas pipeline via Turkey to the countries of European Union

Kazakhstan is seeking chances to construct a Trans-Caspian gas pipeline via Turkey the countries of European Union, Kazakh Energy Minister Bakhtykozha Izmukhambetov said.

The European Union counts on getting 20 bcm of gas from Kazakhstan by 2015 and stands ready to fund the project. It looks like Kazakhstan and E.U. have agreed on joint efforts to open transit of hydrocarbon via Russia, which is still the key transit territory for Europe.

Kazakh energy minister said Kazakhstan will submit a proposal to the European Commission related to construction of Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, including the funding of project and its feasibility study.

Russia will have the access to an oil pipeline constructed to China, Kazakhstan announced yesterday via Interfax. Russia is expected to annually ship 5 million tons of oil to China through Kazakhstan. In view of that statement, the intention of E.U. is probably to show to Russia that there could be an alternative supplier of oil and gas and to enforce on it the Energy Charter, which will prevent Russia from discriminating the third countries, including Kazakhstan, when it comes to oil/gas transit via its territory.

The project calls for attracting Azerbaijan as a participant, which will hardly face difficulties. During his April visit to Washington, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliev backed up the idea of shipping gas to Europe bypassing Russia.