Kazakh Foreign Minister Qasymzhomart Toqaev (file photo) (AFP)
April 13, 2006 -- Kazakh Foreign Minister Qasymzhomart Toqaev says China has offered to build a second oil pipeline for Kazakhstan to carry Kazakh oil to China's energy-hungry market.
Toqaev made his remarks at the end of a three-day visit to Beijing during which the two countries agreed to a draft document about developing long-term cooperation.
The Kazakh foreign minister said trade between the two countries should grow to $10 billion by 2010.
(ITAR-TASS, Interfax, Kazinform)
Central Asia Gas Pipelines
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Russia's rising appetite for Central Asian gas is a direct result of the shifting fortunes of Gazprom, the state-run Russian company that controls lucrative exports. The company's total gas production has flatlined at around 550 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year. With major fields yielding less as they age, Gazprom has chosen to maintain its all-important gas balance by purchasing gas on the side -- from independent producers in Russia and from Russia's Central Asian neighbors -- instead of investing in the lengthy and costly development of untapped Arctic fields...(more)