Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and US sign Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan MoU

Mar 06, 2001 01:00 AM

Azerbaijani, Georgian, Kazakhstani, Turkish and US officials met in Astana to discuss the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline project and sign a memorandum of understanding on the export of oil from Kazakhstan through that pipeline.
The document was signed by Valekh Aleskerov, head of the foreign investment department at the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR); Giorgi Chanturia, president of the Georgian International Oil Corp (GIOC); Kairgeldy Kabyldin, vice president of Kazakhstan's state oil pipeline operator KazTransOil; Yurdakul Yigitguden, Turkey's undersecretary of energy; and Elizabeth Jones, the special advisor to the US president and secretary of state on Caspian energy issues.
Kabyldin emphasized after the signing that the MoU did not obligate Kazakhstan to provide any oil for transport through the pipeline. Instead, the document will make it possible for Kazakhstan to export some of its crude along the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan route should it choose to do so, he said. (Kazakhstan would presumably do so by sending its oil across the Caspian Sea in tankers from Aktau to Baku for loading into the pipeline.)

The MoU was signed shortly after the announcement was made that the US oil company Chevron had decided to help build the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Georgia's President Eduard Shevardnadze added on February 26, in a speech broadcast on the national radio station, that Chevron was ready to carry out some of the basic engineering work for the project as well as participate in the construction of the pipeline.
Meanwhile, other sources hinted that Chevron might play a role in the provision of Kazakhstani oil for export via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan route. Texaco, which is due to be taken over by Chevron, has indicated that it may use the pipeline to Ceyhan to export oil from its Northern Buzachi field, located in Kazakhstan's western Mangistau region.

Source: NewsBase
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