(MENAFN - Trend News Agency ) Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.20
By Nigar Guliyeva – Trend:
Russia has launched oil supplies in test mode to Uzbekistan, where it is planned to launch a new refinery with a capacity of 5 million tons together with Gazprom in three years, reports Kommersant.
However, to increase supplies it is required to expand the capacity of oil pipelines through Kazakhstan, but the issue of financing is still unclear, according to the agency.
Russia's Transneft has launched pumping oil in the direction of Uzbekistan through Kazakhstan via the Omsk-Pavlodar-Shymkent pipeline on Friday. Further, the raw materials are planned to be transported by rail. According to the approved schedule, the volumes will amount to 30,000 tons per month, but may be increased to 2,000 tons per day (that is, about 60,000 tons per month) on demand.
Previously, Uzbekneftegaz announced that, it is planned to upgrade the pumping to 1 million tons in 2018, but Transneft explained that the technical capacity for pumping in this direction is about 0.5 million tons, since the rest of the pipeline through Kazakhstan is occupied by volumes of Rosneft in the direction of China (10 million tons per year).
To provide raw materials to its refineries with a total capacity of about 11 million tons, Uzbekistan imports oil, as its own production is not enough for the country. Due to a shortage of raw materials, refineries do not work at full capacity. To ensure the full capacity, Uzbekistan is interested in increasing volumes of oil imports.
But, the supply is limited by the capacity of the pipe from Russia to Kazakhstan, which needs to be expanded from the current 10 million tons to at least 18 million tons. In this case, supplies can be increased up to 3 million tons in the direction of Uzbekistan, and 2 million tons in the direction of Kyrgyzstan, which seeks to refine at Uzbek refineries. Another 3 million tons can be added to Rosneft's supplies to China from 2018.
However, still the sources of financing expansion of the pipe in Kazakhstan are unknown. In addition, since 2022, Uzbekistan will require additional volumes of oil to load a new refinery in the Djizak region with a capacity of up to 5 million tons per year. Now Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan plan to build a main pipeline Chimkent-Djizak by 2021, while Kazakhstan is going to supply 2 million tons of oil per year.
However, the Russian Energy Ministry does not expect a sharp increase in oil supplies to Uzbekistan in 2018.
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