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Kazakh Prime Minister Danial Akhmetov has offered Russian oil companies the use of a Kazakh pipeline to transport oil to China
"The Atasu-Alashankou pipeline could be used not only by Kazakh, but also by Russian oil companies," Akhmetov said at a Shanghai Cooperation Organization session Wednesday. This kind of cooperation could set a good precedent for SCO partnership, the prime minister said. Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft has applied for permission to transport 1.2 million metric tons of oil via the Kazakhstan-China pipeline in 2006. Currently, Rosneft transports its oil to China by rail. In 2005, Rosneft plans to deliver 4 million tons of oil to China. Lukoil, another Russian oil giant, has also showed an interest in the pipeline. The Atasu-Alashankou pipeline is to begin operations on January 1, 2006. It will eventually have a capacity around 20 million tons a year, but initially carry 10 million tons a year.
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