22 Feb 2023 10:37

Kazakh Ministry: Russia-China gas pipeline may supply gas to eastern Kazakhstan

ALMATY. Feb 22 (Interfax) - Kazakh national company QazaqGaz and Russia's Gazprom are working together to study the option of building a Russia-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline, Kazakh Energy Minister Bolat Akchulakov said.

Akchulakov noted that the Energy Ministry is weighing two options for supplying gas to eastern regions of Kazakhstan, one of which is Russian gas imports as part of the roadmap for cooperation in the gas industry between Kazakhstan and Russia.

"QazaqGaz, together with Gazprom, is conducting a pre-feasibility study for the construction of the international gas pipeline 'Russian Federation-Republic of the Kazakhstan-People's Republic of China'," Akchulakov said at a government meeting on Wednesday.

The Energy Ministry is looking into the possibility of laying a gas pipeline from Kostanay to Ust-Kamenogorsk via Astana, Pavlodar, and Semey, which requires significant funding, higher gas rates for consumers to ensure a return on investment, and the development of new gas deposits.

In May 2022, the Kazakh Energy Ministry and Gazprom discussed the gasification of Kazakhstan's east and north, and agreed to step up efforts to address the most important aspects of cooperation.

In mid-November 2021, the Kazakh Energy Ministry discussed technical issues relating to the gasification of the north and east regions of Kazakhstan with Russia's Gazprom Export.

Gazprom and KazTransGas planned to provide, by the end of 2021, the necessary estimates for the construction of the domestic gas infrastructure in the north and east of Kazakhstan.

Former energy minister Magzum Mirzagaliyev suggested during a meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak in Moscow in October 2021 that Russia should supply gas to the north and east regions of Kazakhstan "on mutually beneficial terms."

Novak at the time said that the Russian government was ready to step up negotiations regarding the matter, and that the respective authorities and companies would be given the necessary instructions.

JSC KazTransGas and PJSC Gazprom earlier formed a working group to look into the possibility of building a gas pipeline from Russia to east Kazakhstan along Barnaul-Rubtsovsk-Semei-Ust-Kamenogorsk, including the construction of a branch line from Semei to the Pavlodar region.