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India proposes Kazakh oil pipeline

April 2, 2013 at 5:43 AM

NEW DELHI, April 2 (UPI) -- The Indian government is interested in working with Kazakhstan to build an oil pipeline, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said.

Khurshid unveiled the proposal during a meeting Tuesday in New Delhi with Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov, Indian newspaper The Hindu reports.

The report said the proposed pipeline would need to cover more than 930 miles, making it longer than a long-planned pipeline from Turkmenistan. The Kazakh project would lead to Uzbekistan's refining city of Shymkent and follow the route for the planned Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-Indian natural gas pipeline.

TAPI is a U.S.-backed counterpart to an Iranian natural gas pipeline that once counted India as a partner.

Kazakhstan hosts the Kashagan oil field, one of the largest in the world, with as much as 16 billion barrels of estimated commercial reserves. No transit volumes were mentioned for the Kazakh pipeline proposal.

Khurshid said he'd raise the issue during an upcoming meeting on Afghanistan in Istanbul and during a planned visit to Astana.

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