By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Kazakhstan and Russia are deepening trade and economic cooperation in the supply of oil and oil products.
Kazakh Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak signed an intergovernmental protocol on amending the agreement on trade and economic cooperation in the field of oil and oil products supply to Kazakhstan.
The signing took place in Moscow on September 3 as part of the international forum “Russian Energy Week - 2018”.
Currently, Kazakhstan has a ban on the export of light petroleum products. The ban on the export of light petroleum products from Kazakhstan was introduced under the current intergovernmental agreement with Russia, which in turn exports about 2 million tons of fuel annually to its partner within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
The signed protocol creates opportunities for the opening of exports of light petroleum products of the modernized oil refineries of the republic.
Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister reported that the changes will allow regulating the import of petroleum products from Russia to Kazakhstan and the export of petroleum products from Kazakhstan outside the customs territory of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) at the interdepartmental level (at the level of energy departments of the two countries).
Thus, Kazakhstan will be able to more quickly make decisions on opening/closing exports or imports of certain types of petroleum products, depending on the balance of the domestic fuel market.
Kazakhstan, as a result of modernization of oil refineries, has increased the production of gasoline, which exceeds the needs of the republic and creates a surplus of fuel.
Kazakhstan has three major oil refineries - Atyrau, Shymkent and Pavlodar. Pavlodar and Atyrau refineries have already completed its modernization program, while Shymkent was expected to wrap up the reconstruction and modernization this fall.
The refining capacity of all the three plants was said to increase from 13.8 to 16.5 million tons after the modernization. Production of all types of light oil products, gasoline, diesel fuel and aviation kerosene will increase. All plants will produce gasoline for 2.3 million tons more. The production of diesel fuel will increase for 917,000 tons and aviation kerosene for 539,000 tons.
Earlier, it was also announced that a new oil refinery plant will be built in Kazakhstan. A contract with investors from Singapore for the total amount of 300 billion tenge was signed in Karaganda in the spring of this year. According to preliminary calculations, the plant will process up to 1 million tons of oil per year.
Russia traditionally maintains a leading position among the trading partners of Kazakhstan.
In 2017 a significant increase in mutual trade between Kazakhstan and Russia was observed.
The trade turnover amounted to $ 16 billion, showing an increase of 25.6 percent compared to 2016.
At the same time, Kazakhstan’s exports amounted to $ 4.5 billion, imports - $ 11.5 billion. Thus, Russia's share in the foreign trade turnover of Kazakhstan in 2017 was 20.6 percent. The country ranked first in terms of imports to Kazakhstan — 39.2 percent and fourth in terms of exports of Kazakh products — 9.3 percent.
In 2018, the positive dynamics of mutual trade is maintained. Trade turnover in January-July of the current year totaled $ 9.9 billion, which corresponds to an increase of 9.5 percent compared to the same period last year. Exports amounted to $ 3 billion and imports - $ 6.9 billion.
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