Kazakhstan's oil will arrive at China's Alashankou of northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region April 30 through the Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline which spans about 1800 kilometers, said Xia Yishan, head of China Energy Strategy Research Institute.
According to Xia, the Chinese section of the oil pipeline from the Alashankou to Dushanzi is ready to receive the oil now. This means Kazakhstan could formally supply its oil to China since May. It also marks the beginning of cross-border land oil supply from other countries.
Xia, also researcher of China Institute of International Studies, said the oil arrived at the Atasu Pass at 3 PM April 11 after traveling 700 kilometers.
The 3,000-kilometer-long Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline that runs from Atyrau along the Caspian Sea to Kenkiyak and Atasu will eventually extend to China's Dushanzi Oil Refinery in Xinjiang.
The first phase of the oil pipeline linking Atasu in Kazakhstan to Alashankou has a length of 1000 kilometers.
According to the cooperation agreement, the Chinese-Kazakh pipeline will have an initial capacity of 10 million tons, it will eventually be expanded to 20-30 million tons.
Kazakhstan will continue the construction of the Kenkiyak-Atasu oil pipeline to further increase its oil shipment to China, said the researcher.
According to Xia, only one half of the initial 10-million-ton crude oil will be supplied by Kazakhstan, while the other half will come from Russia. The pipeline demonstrates a close energy cooperation relation among the three nations.
In order to serve China's growing oil needs, Kazakhstan will supply oil to China ahead of schedule. China is now the second largest oil importer in the world after the US. But more importantly, China is very attractive to Kazakhstan as it is Asia's largest and the most stable oil market, while Kazakhstan is the largest oil producer in Central Asia.
Oil export plays vital roles in improving the country's economic development and people's living standard. Based on the above reasons, Kazakhstan hopes to enter into Chinese market in an early time, according to Xia.
Researcher Xia spoke highly of the opening of the oil pipeline. He noted the pipeline creates a number of historical records. It will be China's first cross-border land oil import route which was jointly built by China and Kazakhstan. It is also Central Asia's first oil pipeline to China.
According to reports from Russia, the construction of widely-concerned Taishet-Nakhodka pipeline has begun today on April 28. The earlier oil supply from Kazakhstan has in some degree hastened the construction of the Taishet-Nakhodka pipeline.
In the meanwhile, it will also push up other countries' energy cooperation with China. Kazakhstan has also planed to lay a natural gas pipeline along the oil route.
In addition, president of Turkmenistan said during his visit to China in early April that Turkmenistan is willing to construct a gas pipeline to China and welcomes China to explore oil in the Caspian Sea.
Xia added that the pipeline has opened a new road for the Central Asia nations in energy cooperation under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.