Air Astana claims Kazakh air traffic may halt due to aviation fuel suspension

By bne IntelliNews September 26, 2017

Air Astana said on September 25 that regular air traffic might come to a halt in Kazakhstan due to falling aviation kerosene supplies from Russia as well as the upcoming suspension of activity at the Shymkent oil refinery, Kazinform news agency reported on September 25.

The aggregate average monthly volume exported by main aviation fuel suppliers to Kazakhstan in 2017 decreased to 15,000 tonnes, down from 44,000 tonnes in 2016. The main fuel suppliers are Gazprom Neft, Rosneft, Lukoil and Tatneft. Moreover, these Russian companies have not confirmed fuel exports to Kazakhstan in October due to high demand for fuel on the Russian market.

In particular, Gazprom Neft notified that it will not be able to resume aviation kerosene exports to Kazakhstan earlier than May 2018.

Kazakhstan’s energy ministry, however, responded to the second aspect of Air Astana’s statement, saying that kerosene and petrol production at the Shymkent Refinery will not be affected by modernisation works, which will focus on the diesel fuel hydro-treatment unit.

“There have been statements by Air Astana that the Shymkent Refinery will be overhauled. We believe Air Astana, before making such statements, could consult with us, especially since we have a direct contract,” the Energy Ministry added.

“We always discuss any problematic issue with them [Air Astana],” said Kazakhstan’s Vice-Minister of Energy Asset Magauov at a press conference.

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