THE CHINESE PRESENCE IN KAZAKHSTANS OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY

Vladimir PARAMONOV, Alexei STROKOV


Vladimir Paramonov, Founder and Director of the Central Eurasia Analytical Project [www.ceasia.ru] (Tashkent, Uzbekistan)

Alexei Strokov, Member of the Expert Council of the Central Eurasia Analytical Project (Tashkent, Uzbekistan)


ABSTRACT

Chinas presence in Kazakhstans oil and gas industry shows that it is primarily interested in developing this countrys hydrocarbon fields. Raising the production volumes of Kazakhstans hydrocarbons will make it possible for China to meet its own energy needs. Chinese companies presently control approximately one quarter of the oil produced in Kazakhstan and one fifth of its petroleum product market. They also occupy a relatively strong niche in such an important segment of Kazakhstans oil and gas industry as the construction and exploitation of oil and gas pipelines. In the short and medium term, the nature and scope of Chinas presence in Kazakhstans oil and gas industry is unlikely to significantly change. In the long term, much will depend on whether Chinese companies gain access to big oil and, correspondingly, big gas after developing offshore deposits, primarily within the framework of the North Caspian project.

Keywords: China, Kazakhstan, oil and gas industry, KazMunayGas, Sinopec.

Introduction

On 3 January, 1992, diplomatic relations were established between the Republic of Kazakhstan (RK) and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). Since then, China has regarded Kazakhstan as the main target of its economic and, primarily, energy interests in Central Asia (CA).

An analysis of the Kazakh vector of the PRCs foreign strategy in the post-Soviet period makes it possible to indentify three main stages of its implementation.

The first stage occurred at the beginning and middle of the 1990s. At that time, China assessed the essentially new situation that had developed in the post-Soviet states and determined its energy and


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