China pipes Kazakh oil
In about a month’s time, a 1000km Kazakh-Chinese pipeline will be put in operation. It will carry around 20m tons of oil annually. On the Chinese side of the border, the crude will be further transported west.
CNPC, the Chinese state-owned oil company responsible for the pipeline’s construction, has recently acquired PetroKazakhstan (though it proved to be a rather long process) and received green light to produce at full steam.
The heat during the takeover was partly due to a rival bid by Lukoil that was eventually dismissed. Also, the Indian government tried to acquire a stake via its national oil company.
In late October, the Kazakh government passed legislation giving it more leverage over foreign-held asset sales. Also, Kazakhstan is to buy a 33% stake in PetroKazakhstan (initially, demands were 50%).
It seems that the battlefield for influence in Central Asia has reached a more sophisticated arena – the stock exchange.