(EnergyAsia, April 17 2017, Monday) — China will remain a growing market for oil and natural gas exports from Kazakhstan with the recent launch of new links connecting the two countries.

Last week, state-owned China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said it has started up a 1,454-km pipeline to import natural gas from southern Kazakhstan. CNPC subsidiary Trans-Asia Pipeline Co Ltd and Kazakhstan’s KazTransGaz (KTG) are equal owners of the pipeline which has the capacity to deliver up to six million cubic meters of natural gas per year.

CNPC’s announcement could partially allay fears in Central Asia that China is looking to slowdown the import of natural gas from the region. These fears were sparked by media reports that Beijing has ordered a delay in the construction of the proposed major Line D pipeline project to boost imports by 30 bcm/year.

The new CNPC-KTG pipeline is an important component of the Central Asia-China gas pipeline network that has been operating since 2009.

It adds to last July’s launch of a rail service to deliver liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Central Asian country to China’s far western Xinjiang region.

According to China’s CRI Online, the rail service is expected to deliver 300,000 tonnes of LNG a year from Kazakhstan to Alashankou Free Trade Zone in Xinjiang.

Alashankou also recently received its 100th million ton of crude oil through a pipeline owned and operated by the Kazakhstan-China Pipeline LLP. KazTransOil and China’s CNODC are equal shareholders of the company.