China's first cross-border crude oil pipeline was opened yesterday, pumping crude oil from Kazakhstan to Northwest China.
The Chinese-Kazakh pipeline will initially carry 10 million tons of crude oil a year from Atasu, in the land-locked Central Asian nation, to Alashankou of China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The 962 kilometre long pipeline has been constructed under a 50-50 joint venture between State companies China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and KazMunaiGaz. Construction of the project began in September last year.
Plans are underway for a second phase, which is expected to pipe at least 20 million tons of oil from Kazakhstan to China, a CNPC official yesterday told China Daily, saying that no concrete timetable has been set for this phase.
CNPC said in a statement that the pipeline marks even stronger ties in the energy partnership between the two countries and represents a strategic co-operation that will boost both economies.
"China has made its position clear on international co-operations in the energy sector. We hope to collaborate with a wide range of countries, including the United States, in the energy field, which could extend beyond oil and gas to the development of renewable and cleaner energy," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang yesterday told a press briefing in Beijing.
The successful operation of the oil pipeline will pave the way for further co-operation between China and its neighbouring countries such as Russia and Uzbekistan, Xia Yishan, a senior research fellow with the China Institute of International Studies, said.
Source: China Daily