Monday, June 22, 2009
Kazakhstan using Azeri pipeline
BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 19, 2009 - (UPI) -- Azerbaijan is seeking to interest other Caspian producers in using its export pipelines. Since it became operational in May 2006, the Western-financed and operated $3.6 billion, 1,092-mile, 1 million-barrel-per-day Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline has become Azerbaijan's main export pipeline. The Azeri government has consistently sought to convince other Caspian oil-producing nations to utilize the pipeline's export capacity. Baku's efforts to acquire other nations' exports increased after the brief Georgian-Russian military confrontation last August, which completely shut in Azeri exports, costing the nation more than $1 billion in lost revenues. Beginning in October 2008, Kazakhstan began to use the BTC pipeline. Azerbaijan's Analiticheskoe I Informatsionne Agenststvo FINEKO reported June 18 that since then BTC has carried more than 1 million tons of Kazakh oil, 163,000 tons in May alone. According to the Azerbaijan State Statistics Committee, during the first five months of May 2009 Kazakh oil exports via the BTC pipeline totaled 754,800 tons. In a further sign of increased cooperation, in the wake of last year's military conflict, the State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijan Republic and Kazakhstan's KazMunaiGas last November signed an agreement on delineating principles of a joint Trans-Caspian Project oil export system.