A Kazakh company in charge of the project said the first test shipment of oil had been successfully completed through the newly built Kenkiyak-Kumkol pipeline.
The first phase of the pipeline between central Kazakhstan and China’s western Xinjiang region, was completed in 2006. The latest link expands the pipeline to Caspian Sea oil fields.
Kazakhstan has stepped up contacts with China for fresh investment. Kazakhstan and China agreed to build the 3,000 km pipeline in 1997 and said they would later double the capacity of the combined pipeline from the current 10 million tons a year. Kazakhstan, which produced 71 million tons of oil last year, plans to double output within the next decade and diversify its exports.
China is also building a pipeline to import up to 40 Bcm of Central Asian gas a year. The link originates in Turkmenistan and goes through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.