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Pipeline Pours 4 Mln Tons of Oil into China in First Year
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China has imported four million tons of oil through the Kazakhstan-China pipeline in its first year of operation, customs officials said on Wednesday.

The officials said Chinese companies spent US$ 1.8 billion on the import of oil, which brought customs in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, 2.1 billion yuan in tax.

The oil pipeline, extending 962 km from Atasu in Kazakhstan to the Alataw Pass in China, was completed in 2005 at a cost of US$ 700 million. The first oil deal through the pipeline, which totaled 82,000 tons, was transported on July 11 last year.

China has just laid a 252-km oil pipeline between Alataw Pass to Dushanzi in Karamay where the country's largest oil refinery plant will become operational in 2008 to produce 5.5 million tons of refined oil each year.

China and Kazakhstan began energy cooperation in 1997, including an oil pipeline between western Kazakhstan and Xinjiang.

Last month Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan and visiting Kazak Deputy Prime Minister and Economic Minister Aslan Musin agreed to deepen cooperation in energy and resources.

Musin was invited to Beijing by China's CITIC Group, which acquired the Kazakhstan oil assets of Canada's Nations Energy Company Ltd. for US$ 1.91 billion at the end of 2006.

The acquisition allows CITIC to develop the Karazhanbas oil and gas field in Mangistau Oblast until 2020. It has proven reserves of more than 340 million barrels of oil and produces more than 50,000 barrels a day.

(Xinhua News Agency July 11 2007)

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