Afghanistan may receive more oil products from Russia

MOSCOW, August 18 (Itar-Tass) —— Moscow and Kabul consider the possibility of the increase of oil products’ delivery to Afghanistan from Russia by 500,000 tons, Anwarul Haq Ahadi, the minister of trade and industry of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, stated on Thursday after the signing of the memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the branches of the fuel-and-energy complex between the Russian Ministry of Energy and Afghanistan’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The sides noted that the memorandum is the logical extension of cooperation in energy between the two countries. The arrangement was reached on the delivery of Russian oil products to Afghanistan on the basis of long-term contracts between private and state companies. The countries, in perspective, are to draw up a joint indicative balance of deliveries and to decide on the optimum routes for laying out oil pipelines in Afghanistan. The sides will also coordinate approaches to pricing. The Russian Ministry of Energy, in the framework of the arrangement, will give assistance in ensuring reliable transportation of oil products to Afghanistan’s territory, also via territories of third countries.

The sides also discussed a number of projects to be considered at the first meeting of the Russian-Afghan Intergovernmental Commission in Moscow in December 2011. The projects include participation of the Russian side in the construction of new power stations, reconstruction of the Sarobi hydro power plant, the Salang tunnel and Hyraton transport base.

Afghanistan’s minister of trade and industry noted that Afghanistan’s total need in oil products amounts to 3 million tons and the talks on the increase of deliveries from Russia may be continued at a higher level.

Answering questions of reporters after the signing of the memorandum, Russia’s Minister of Energy Sergei Shmatko said that Russian companies were interested in cooperation in big structural projects, including TAPI gas pipeline and CASA-1000 interregional high-voltage line.

The minister also said diesel fuel would be delivered first of all. “Our companies will soon be ready to make offers. Market approaches will be used. Easy terms will not apply. Prices will be formed depending on companies’ arrangements,” he said. Shmatko said negotiations were being conducted by Rosneft, LUKOIL and TNK-BP. As regards petrol deliveries, petrol export has now been stopped as the situation is good on the domestic market. Shmatko said there would probably be no offers of petrol deliveries to Afghanistan until November.

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