US do not exclude the Iran pipeline option anymore

Feb 26, 1999 01:00 AM

Richard Morningstar, special adviser to the U.S. President and Secretary of State on Caspian energy resources, told that "should relations with Iran improve, the U.S. side is prepared to study the possibility of building pipelines across Iranian territory for the transportation of Caspian energy resources."
Mr Morningstar emphasised that "if relations with Iran improve, and the U.S. hopes that this will happen in the years to come, the U.S. would be able to take a new look at the possibility of transporting Caspian oil across Iran. "
Meanwhile, Mr Morningstar believes that changes in bilateral relations are unlikely to come about in the shortest term.
Therefore, his opinion is that before such changes occur the Caspian energy resources should be transported to world markets along the already planned routes, such as a new pipeline from Kazakhstan to Russia. The construction of the pipeline is to be started by the Caspian pipeline building consortium soon.

Mr Morningstar mentioned as other routes for the transportation of Caspian energy resources an oil pipeline from Baku to Ceyhan on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey and a trans-Caspian gas trunkline between Turkmenistan and Turkey.
"The unresolved problem of the legal status of the Caspian should not hamper prospecting for and development of Caspian oil deposits," the U.S. adviser stressed. Mr Morningstar believes that "an optimum solution to the Caspian legal status issue would be to divide it into national sectors".

Source: Itar-Tass
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