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News // Oil and gas worldwide

Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan Agreed on Oil Transportation

17 November 2008 , 10:37Ksenia Kochneva1532
The energy summit in Azerbaijan welcomed presidents and senior officials from nations including Turkey, Georgia, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria and Hungary.

Most of the participants signed a declaration that stressed the importance of diversifying export routes and expressed support for existing and planned Western-backed pipelines bypassing Russia.

Resource-rich Caspian nations Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan did not sign, presumably wary of damaging closer ties and energy export arrangements with Russia.

At the same time, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan agreed to set up an oil transport system across the Caspian Sea. This network will rely on a fleet of tankers and barges to bring Kazakh oil to Azerbaijan, the starting point for a 1,770-kilometer pipeline that traverses the South Caucasus and ends at the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Kazakh state energy company KazMunaiGaz said the network would be able to ship 500,000 barrels of oil a day at first, eventually growing to 1.2 million barrels per day. It did not say where the ships would come from or who would build or operate them; most tankers plying the Caspian are outdated.

Kazakhstan relies almost exclusively on Russian routes for oil exports, and Moscow has been reluctant to expand its pipelines.

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