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Russian oil companies reached Iran
Yukos intends to rehabilitate Omsk-Pavlodar-Chimkent-Turkmenabat oil pipe

In terms of growing paces of oil production and sharp deficit of export pipeline capacities the Russian oil companies are searching for more exotic ways of transportation of production. Iran has become a new goal for Russian companies. Lukoil and Sidanko deliver oil to Iran via Caspian Sea. Yesterday an information was spread about Yukos intentions to rehabilitate Omsk-Pavlodar-Chimkent-Turkmenabat (former Charjou) oil pipe, which was idle since collapse of the Soviet Union. This pipe is passing via the territory of three CIS states. It is expected that Yukos oil processed on Seydinsk oil processing plant in Turkmenistan will be sold in Iran.

Petroleum Argus oil company reports referring to a source in Yukos and general director of Kazakh Kaztransoil pipeline company that Yukos has already researched the state of still idle not-Russian part of Omsk-Pavlodar-Chimkent-Turkmenabad and is ready to start supply of 2 million tons of its oil to Seydinsk oil processing plant. Thus, oil products received from Yukos via railway are planned to be delivered to Iran's port of Neka.

Omsk-Pavlodar-Chimkent-Turkmenabat oil pipe was built from 1977 to 1983 for transportation of Western-Sibirian oil to oil processing plants of Kazakh SSR and Turkmen SSR. The pumping capacity of Omsk-Pavlodar part was making 36 million tons annually, Pavlodar-Chimkent - 17 million tons annually and Chimkent-Charjou - 7 million tons annually. After collapse of USSR and faulting of Western Sibirian oil delivery exploitation of Chimkent-Turkmenabat 294 kilometers part stopped. The rest acting part of pipe is used for deliveries of oil from Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan border fields to Seydinsk oil processing plant, operating on 30% of its capacity.

The idea of rehabilitation of idle oil pipe was forwarded in late 1990th. Kazakhtransoil and Russian Transoil estimated expenses for re-conservation at 20 million USD. It is expected that up to 5 million tons of oil may be transported by the pipe annually. From Turmenistan oil had to be transported to Iran by railway. Regardless the fact that a number of Russian companies using regularly Omsk-Pavlodar oil pipe for oil transportation to Kazakhstan, the idea was not implemented.

Yesterday, the vice president of Transoil Sergey Grigoriyev stated to Commersant daily that rehabilitation of the pipe failed because of discord between the state the pipe passes through. The press secretary of Yukos Alexander Shadrin did not comment on the information regarding the plans of the company on delivery oil products to Iran. Sergey Grigoriyev also stated that he possesses no information about the agreements reached by Yukos.

Meanwhile, Yukos is going to sign in the near future an agreement with Turkmenneftegas state corporation after which the Russian company will start oil deliveries to Seydinsk oil processing company. Sources close of the company informed Commersant daily that the Turkmen president Saparmurat Niyazov stated that Turkmenistan is much interested in soonest re-operation of the plant, promising that the it will be privatized in the coming 5 years. Oil products from Seydinks plant will be sold to Iran and Afghanistan.

Yukos is much interested in deliveries to Iran for it plans to receive oil from Persian gulf instead. However, its competitors have the same plans. From the end of last year Lukoil is leading oil export to Iran using oil terminals in Volgograd's oil processing plant. Oil is transported by tankers by Volga and Caspian Sea.

Under the data provided by the Vice President of the company Yuriy Storojev, in 2003 Lukoil plans to export at least 3.5 million tons of oil. Sidanko uses the same scheme of transportation using terminals of Saratovsk oil processing plant. The press secretary of Sidanko said that in May the company has sent to Iran two batches of oil overall about 100,000 tons and now the company is studying expediency of regular export of oil to Iran.

Commersant daily

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By Denis Skorobogat'ko

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