Hurricane To Broaden Kazakh Export Routes

Hurricane Hydrocarbons had intended to acquire a stake Caspian Pipeline Consortium in order to use its pipeline to export oil from Kazakhstan. Now the Canadian company will have diversify its export routes from Kazakhstan due to disagreements with the Kazakh government over export quotes. The company's production and refining operations are solely based in Kazakhstan and it is that country's second largest foreign producer.

"We are investigating other means to ship part of our production through CPC pipeline," said Bernard Isautier, Hurricane's chief executive. "This pipeline has currently excess capacity and we are hopeful that in some fashion we will be able to access it for a portion of our total exports." Transport costs and pipeline access are key for Hurricane in its bid to decrease its reliance on rail for its oil transports. "We are using at least seven different routes," Isautier said. "We're trying to get better transportation tariffs." The company has signed a deal with KazMunaiGas build the 437-mile Kumkol-Aralsk-Kenkiyak (KAK) pipeline in the former Soviet republic. "We are at the stage of a feasibility study and we have indicated that should this project prove economic we were prepared to take a minority interest in the equity portion of this pipeline," Isautier said. "This is a longer term project, three years down the road." When completed, the KAK pipeline will link the South Turgai basin oil fields to Atyrau, where crude could be shipped further through the Atyrau-Samara pipeline or the CPC pipeline or to the port of Aktau.

The Canadian company plans to continue to grow production and to increase exploration efforts. Hurricane currently produces 135,000 barrels per day in Kazakhstan.