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Kazkahstan Ban on Russian Gasoline into Effect on Aug 20

Tuesday 7 August 2018

ASTANA (Interfax-Kazakhstan) — A routine ban on gasoline imports from Russia to Kazakhstan by rail could be published as early as August 10 and enter into force on August 20, Deputy Energy Minister Bolat Akchulakov has said.

B. Akchulakov said at a press conference on Tuesday:

At us today in the country after end of modernization of oil refineries there is an oversupply of gasoline, basically it is AI-92. And the ban on importation is stipulated by the bilateral agreement between Kazakhstan and Russia within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union.

According to him, until 2025 Kazakhstan has the right to introduce a conventional ban on the import of gasoline from Russia to Kazakhstan by rail in case of an overabundance of this product in the domestic market:

The order is now on the coordination and registration with the Ministry of Justice, as soon as it comes out, it will begin to apply. I expect that this will be closer to August 10, possibly, will be released after registration, if the last comments are eliminated. Will come into force in 10 days and railway stations of both countries will be notified.

Kazakhstan is set to rival Russian firms in the lucrative Central Asian fuel market once it finishes upgrading its oil refineries, officials in Astana and industry sources said in June. The government is considering halting light oil product imports from Russia and lifting a ban on such exports that was originally imposed to ensure reliable supplies on the domestic market, they said.

Despite being the second-largest oil producer and exporter in the former Soviet Union, only behind Russia, Kazakhstan has been historically plagued by chronic deficits of fuel for domestic consumption. National energy security is at the top of the country’s priority list, yet little progress has been made since independence to address this concern.

In spite of the seeming seasonality of the current crisis, the regular chronic fuel shortages have deeper roots. Kazakhstan initiated a large-scale modernization of its three refineries back in 2009, having previously rejected a plan to build a new fourth refinery according to the best Western standards. Total costs have since skyrocketed to more than $3 bln.

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