Business & Economy

Kazakhstan starts pumping oil to Germany via Russia’s Druzhba pipeline

Astana, Feb 23 (EFE).- Kazakhstan’s national oil transportation operator KazTransOil on Thursday began pumping crude oil to Germany via Russia’s Druzhba pipeline, the head of the company’s press department, Shyngys Ilyasov, said.

“The KazTransOil pipeline system started loading Kazakh oil for transportation to Germany,” the spokesman said in a statement.

According to KazTransOil, “in correspondence with the schedule of oil supplies approved by the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan, 20,000 tons of Kazakh oil will be transported by the Druzhba pipeline to the Adamowo-Zastawa terminal in February for further delivery to Germany.”

In early February, Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister, Bolat Akchulakov, told EFE that his country would begin pumping oil to Germany in the first half of February, with a first shipment of 20,000 tons of crude.

A day earlier, a spokesman for Russian pipeline operator Transneft, Igor Demin, announced that the Druzhba pipeline was ready to pump Kazakh crude.

“We have everything ready for the transit of these 20,000 tons of oil from Kazakhstan through Russia, Belarus and Poland to Germany via the northern branch of the Druzhba,” he said, adding that “some inertia” was observed on the Kazakh side.

Akchulakov confirmed being “in permanent contact” with his Russian colleague and pointed out that it was a “purely technical matter, there is no inertia.”

“We have to check everything and start the shipment. There is a technical redirection (of crude) and it is necessary to do tests. The supply will start in February” as an alternative to Russian oil, he said.

The European Union (EU) sanctions include an embargo on Russian oil arriving by sea and provides for exceptions for oil arriving by pipeline to landlocked countries such as Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The Kazakh energy minister added that the volume of 1.2 million crude oil agreed last December between Transneft and Kazakh operator KazTransOil was established “on the basis of technical possibilities.”

However, he stressed that Kazakhstan could “ship through this route between 6 and 7 million tons of oil.”

A source in the Kazakh national oil company KazMunayGas told EFE that the delay in sending crude through Druzhba was not due to an “inertia” from Astana but because Russia is opposed to pumping oil extracted by the Italian company ENI, even if it is Kazakh.

“The oil that should go through the Druzhba pipeline is Kazakh. It is from the Karachaganak field, whose owner is the Italian company ENI, which does not satisfy the Russian Energy Ministry in the context of the current geopolitical situation,” the person said.

According to the source, Russia “wants to close the pipeline to Kazakh oil supplies from the European company ENI to other European countries.”

“This is more about politics” than economics, the person said.

In late December, the Russian government expressed its readiness to approve the transit of Kazakh oil bound for Germany.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that Moscow saw this “as a matter of course” and agreed that Kazakh crude would be moved from the Baltic port of Ust-Luga to Druzhba, which has a northern branch that crosses Belarus and Poland before reaching Germany.

It is estimated that Kazakhstan could ship up to 300,000 tons of crude through this route during the first quarter of 2023, out of the 1.2 million tons per year agreed by Kazakh operator KazTransOil and Transneft. EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button