Kazakhstan does not have free gas volumes intended for export at the moment, Kazakh Ambassador to Azerbaijan Serik Primbetov said in the Trend News Agency's conference room Wednesday, while answering the question about the possible participation of the republic in constructing the Nabucco gas pipeline, which is designed to diversify gas supplies to Europe.
"We are mainly a country -- oil supplier," he said. "At present, we do not have free gas. We pump the available gas back into the reservoir to increase pressure while oil extracting."
He said the republic has problems with providing its southern regions with gas, where the demand for fuel is met by Uzbek gas. In particular, at present, the operations are underway to lay a gas pipeline to resolve this problem, he said.
According to a BP report in 2009, Kazakhstan's proven gas reserves are 1.82 trillion cubic meters. Last year, the country produced 32.2 billion cubic meters of gas. The republic consumed 19.6 billion cubic meters.
Kazakhstan exported 9 billion cubic meters of gas in 2010 or almost one-third more than in 2009.
One of the main potential gas suppliers for Nabucco is Turkmenistan, which has huge gas reserves -- in particular at the South Yoloten Field, Primbetov said.
Nabucco is worth 7.9 billion euro. Participants are the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE. Construction is planned to launch in 2012. Each participant has an equal 16.67 percent share. The pipeline's maximum capacity will hit 31 billion cubic meters per year.
Copyright (c) 2010, Trend News Agency, Baku, Azerbaijan. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.