Construction began on the 240-kilometer Chinese section of the Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline Wednesday in Jinghe county in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, according to sources with China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), China's biggest oil producer.
The Xinjiang section will form part of a 3,000-kilometer pipeline from the oil-rich Caspian shelf to China, which will carry oil across eastern Kazakstan into China's Xinjiang autonomous region, where it will be refined or sent directly to China's booming east.
The pipeline, which will cost three billion US dollars, began construction last year. It will link Atasu in Kazakhstan to Dushanzi and is China's first major land oil import route.
A CNPC staff member said the cross-border oil pipeline, with 2,800 kilometers in Kazakstan and 240 kilometers in China, is expected to be completed on December 16, 2005. It will be able to carry 20 million tons of oil per year.
Oil analysts say the pipeline will benefit both countries. China can get stable and secure crude oil supply, while Kazakhstan will have a reliable oil market.
Construction on the Kazakhstan section of the oil pipeline began in September and will be completed in 2005. Kazakhstan is the world's third largest oil producer. The country plans to raise its annual crude production to 100 million tons by 2010.
Three Chinese factories are principally responsible for supplying the pipe. China-made pipes have been shipped to Kazakhstan since last winter.
China's imports of Kazakh oil now travel hundreds of kilometers by rail to Xinjiang.