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MOSCOW, March 24. /TASS/. Astana has offered Moscow an alternative route of natural gas supplies to China — transit through Kazakhstan, head of the Kazakh state-owned oil and gas company KazMunayGas Sauat Mynbayev told the Kommersant daily on Tuesday.
According to him, it is possible to use the existing supply route from Russia to the south of Kazakhstan through the Bukhara-Ural and Bozoi-Shymkent pipelines.
Kazakhstan offers Russia’s natural gas giant Gazprom to use the existing country’s infrastructure to export gas to China. Gazprom at present supplies the southern regions of Kazakhstan through the Bukhara-Ural pipeline (since autumn 2014 the pipeline works in a reverse regime), then the gas is pumped into the Bozoi-Shymkent pipeline, which is connected with Central Asia-China main gas pipeline, through which Beijing receives gas from Turkmenistan.
"As for the possibility of gas supplies to China on this route, potentially, this interest definitely exists," said Mynbayev. According to him, currently the gas from the Bozoi-Shymkent pipeline due to the low pressure in the pipe cannot be pumped to the Central Asia-China pipeline. However, Kazakhstan intends to boost the capacity of the Bozoi-Shymkent pipeline from 2.5 billion to 10 billion cubic meters by installing three compressor stations.