"The meeting will be behind closed doors," the spokesperson emphasized. Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko and Kazakh Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Vladimir Shkolnik are expected to attend.
Addressing the Kazakh parliament earlier, Mr. Shkolnik said the CPC shareholders had virtually reached a consensus on boosting the pipeline's capacity from 28 million metric tons of oil a year to 67 million metric tons a year.
"A final decision [on the matter] is due on March 1. We are pushing for boosting CPC's capacity to make the pipeline system pay off as soon as possible," Mr. Shkolnik said.
Commenting on the lengthy negotiations, Mr. Shkolnik said "the Russian Federation, which holds 24% of CPC's shares, is pushing hard for raising the price of oil transit [via CPC]. On the whole, Kazakhstan is not interested in doing so."
According to Mr. Shkolnik, "on the one hand, this benefits us as a holder of 19% of CPC's stock; on the other, it does not since we own a 20% stake in TengizChevroil (CPC is mostly filled with oil produced at the Tengiz oilfield in western Kazakhstan)".
"We are dual-hatted as both the consignor and the transporter," Mr. Shkolnik stressed.
Kazakh oil transported via CPC exceeded 22 million metric tons in 2004.