Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 157

Kazakhstani president Nursultan Nazarbaev told a news conference yesterday that the Tengiz-Novorossiisk oil pipeline, designed to carry 67 million tons annually to Russia and due for completion in 2002, will fall far short of meeting Kazakstan’s needs as an international oil exporter. The country plans to increase its oil output to 170 million tons annually by 2008-2010 and requires additional export routes, Nazarbaev said. He noted that one future route will lead to China from the major oilfields recently acquired by the China National Oil Company in Kazakhstan. More immediately, Kazakhstan is "actively considering" two routes for its oil exports to the West. One runs via the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. The other, "most direct route to international markets," runs via Iran to the Persian Gulf, Nazarbaev continued. He called this route "the most promising for all of Central Asia." He expressed hope that U.S. economic sanctions against Iran would not block this solution to Kazakstan’s oil export problems and called for negotiations with Washington on the matter.

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