Russia can transport oil to China via Kazakhstan through the new Atasu-Alashankou pipeline, head of the Transneft company Semen Vainshtok told reporters on Thursday.
Russia's Rosneft asked Transneft to provide technical calculations on the opportunity to boost oil transit through the Omsk-Pavlodar pipeline with its subsequent transportation through Kazakhstan to China.
According to Vainshtok, Transneft supplied all the necessary calculations saying it was ready to ensure equal access of all the companies interested in this route within the framework of rated capacity of the Omsk-Pavlodar pipeline.
Lukoil, another Russian oil company, also showed interest in supplying oil from Kazakhstan to China. However, it plans to transport up to 1.5 million tonnes of oil through its new pipeline from the reserves mined in the Kazakh territory.
Earlier, Kazakh Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik said the construction of the Kazakh-Chinese Atasu-Alashankou pipeline will end on December 16.
Under an accord with China, the 700-million-dollar pipeline will be commissioned on December 16, 2005, Shkolnik said.
Kazakhstan and China agreed to go halves in funding the project with investments totaling 350 million dollars on either side.
According to the minister, the initial rated capacity of 10 million tonnes of oil a year will be doubled.
"We are planning to boost throughput capacity to 20 million tonnes, to enable not only Kazakh but also Russian companies to use this route," Shkolnik stated.
"Russian oil can be supplied through Omsk-Pavlodar line and farther on through the new Atasu-Alashankou pipeline. The project could be an example of cooperation between members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization - Kazakhstan, China and Russia," the Kazakh energy minister underlined.