BEIJING, March 24. /TASS/. The transit of Russian gas to China through Kazakhstan is less economically viable than the direct delivery, China Petroleum University Professor Pam Chancey told TASS Tuesday.
"It is a purely economic issue — direct deliveries are profitable for both the supplier and the consumer," the expert said. According to him, the gas transit through Kazakhstan will increase the cost. "This option would be interesting if the route had additional gas fields. However, they are not to be expected, thus pumping gas through Kazakhstan is meaningless," he said.
He noted that a similar proposal was made by Mongolia. "The Mongolian side explained it by the need for supplying their cities with gas," the expert said.
Thus, according to him, China has three options. "The first, and most profitable, is to organize a direct delivery from Altai to Xinjiang, north-west of China. Second in terms of priority is Russian gas transit through Mongolia. This route is also interesting because it is relatively short," the professor said. "In this case, the route through Kazakhstan is the least profitable," he said.
However, the expert emphasized that Kazakhstan is "a reliable and trusted partner of China." "I do not doubt the safety of the route through Kazakhstan," he said.
As TASS previously reported, Kazakhstan proposes to Russia an alternative route for gas supplies to China, which uses the existing supply route from Russia to the south of Kazakhstan through Bukhara-Ural and Bozoi-Shymkent pipelines.