The Kazakhstan’s port of Aktau on the Caspian shore has sent the first pilot shipment of 6,900 tons of oil from the country’s supergiant Kashagan field to the port of Baku for onward export, KazTransOil reports.
The oil shipper is INPEX North Caspian Sea, Ltd, based in Tokyo.
According to Hiroshi Ikeda, Director of the INPEX North Caspian Sea, Ltd branch in Kazakhstan, the test shipment showed the possibility of diversifying export routes for Kashagan oil by rail transportation towards the Trans-Caspian route.
The representative of INPEX North Caspian Sea, Ltd also said that the company will continue cooperation on the development of reserve export routes together with the Government of Kazakhstan and KazMunayGas, the national operator of the oil and gas industry of Kazakhstan.
The transportation of oil along the new route was carried out by the tanker “Academician Khoshbakht Yusifzade”, owned by the Sea Transport Fleet of CJSC “Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company” (ASCO).
Kashagan oil will travel to the Azerbaijani Sangachal terminal. The Sangachal terminal is located about 55 km south of Baku. Oil transshipment from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline takes place there.
Earlier, Deputy Chairman of KazMunayGas Bulat Zakirov said that the operator plans to start shipping oil from the Tengiz field to Azerbaijan in March.
According to him, Kazakhstan is working on the development of supplies towards Azerbaijan, implying Trans-Caspian transportation from Aktau to Baku, as well as through the Baku–Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, TASS reports.
At the end of 2022, Kazakhstan signed a deal with the state oil company of Azerbaijan Socar on the shipment of 1.5 million tons of oil per year.
President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in November last year ordered the government to increase the oil transportation through the Caspian ports of Aktau and Kuryk to 20 million tons of oil per year.
Currently, the main export route for Kazakhstan oil is the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, consisting of companies from Kazakhstan and Russia. Oil from the west of Kazakhstan is pumped through the CPC trunk oil pipeline to the sea terminals in Novorossiysk. 75-80% of Kazakhstan’s oil is exported via this route.
However, a series of force majeure situations caused interruptions in CPC oil exports, prompting Kazakhstan’s desire to diversify options for transporting its oil to world markets. In 2022, exports via the CPC oil pipeline decreased by 3.3% compared to 2021. ///nCa, 22 March 2023