Kazmortransflot, a subsidiary of KazMunayGas (KMG), a national oil company in Kazakhstan, has leased two of its vessels to OFCO Offshore International, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports Group (ADP), KMG said in a statement.
«With the purpose of expansion of cooperation between KMG and ADP two subsidiaries of these companies, Kazmortransflot and OFCO Offshore International have signed a three-year contract to lease Kazakhstani towboats… The leasing of the towboats will let Kazmortransflot enter the market of maritime services in the Persian Gulf to obtain more profit and new experience,» the company said in a statement.
As KMG reported, the Talas and Emba towboats with Kazakhstani crews spent 52 days covering a distance of 9,500 kilometers to reach the Persian Gulf from the Caspian Sea through the waterways in Russia, the Turkish straits, the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aden. The towboats are expected to be used at Abu Dhabi’s offshore projects. Kazmortransflot is now planning to send a third vessel called Irgiz.
In addition, Caspian Integrated Maritime Solutions (CIMS), a joint venture of KMG and ADP, plans to increase its tanker fleet to ten vessels, according to Magzum Mirzagaliyev, head of KMG.
CIMS was registered at the Astana International Financial Center earlier this year. In July, the company acquired two new tankers Taraz and Liwa with a deadweight of 8,000 tons each. These ships would facilitate the transportation of Kazakhstani oil through the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan for further export to Europe via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. KMG plans to use this route to export 1.5 million tons of oil a year. The oil export route through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey allows Kazakhstan to bypass Russia and its Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), where Kazakhstani oil producers reported difficulties on many occasions.
The joint pool of tankers of Kazmortransflot and ADP consists of four vessels. Two of them are tasked with carrying oil produced by Tengizchevroil from Russia’s Novorossiysk, where it is delivered via the CPC from the Atyrau region of Kazakhstan to global consumers. The companies have already signed a contract with Chevron.
Three more ADP tankers are expected to be added to the pool by the end of this year: two Aframax vessels with a deadweight of 115,000 tons and one Suezmax (a tanker capable of passing through the Suez Canal) with a deadweight of 130,000 tons. In August, KMG reported that it would prepare an agreement with ADP to make it hire Kazakhstani specialists within a five-year period.