September 4, 2008

Georgian Conflict Not Hampering Kazakh Oil Supplies – Company Head

Text of report by privately-owned Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency

Astana: 4 September: The political situation in Georgia has not affected transporting Kazakh oil along the route from Baku to Batumi [port in Georgia], the president of the KazMunayGaz national oil and gas company, Kairgeldy Kabyldin, has said.

"As for risks of transporting Kazakh oil via the Baku-Batumi route, we would not like to link it now to the events that are taking place against the background of the conflict between Georgia and Russia," Kabyldin told a news conference held within the framework of the third Eurasian energy forum KazEnergy in Astana today.

At the same time, the head of the national company said that "there was a delay in transporting oil by rail for some days due to the disrepair of a bridge".

"Everything has been restored now; which means that we are transporting [oil] in the amount envisaged in and in compliance with the schedule of oil supplies via the Batumi port that we have acquired as an asset," Kairgeldy Kabyldin noted.

"In general, I believe that increasing the transit of oil along the Caspian Sea-Black Sea and Azerbaijan-Georgia routes, including oil of international companies may, on the contrary, be a factor of stability in this region," he added.

Kabyldin believes that "participation of international companies in [extracting and transporting] Kazakh oil will facilitate reaching an agreement needed for stability and security in the region".

Originally published by Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency, Almaty, in Russian 1118 4 Sep 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Central Asia. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.