Pipeline from Caspian Sea to Turkey will be economically feasible

Dec 19, 2003 01:00 AM

A pipeline from the Caspian Sea to Turkey's Mediterranean coast will have more than enough oil to make it economically feasible and worries to the contrary are unfounded, a US official said. The Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil field off the shore of Azerbaijan will fill the pipeline with 1 mm bpd, leaving no room for oil from other Caspian wells, said Steven Mann, US President George W. Bush's special adviser for the region.
"The problem for the pipeline will not be too little oil, but too much oil," Mann said in the Turkish capital Ankara, where he met with Turkish officials.

The United States has backed the Azerbaijan-Turkey pipeline to bring oil from the landlocked Caspian region to world markets, bypassing Russia and Iran. The oil companies pumping Caspian oil, led by BP, initially resisted the $ 3.6 bn pipeline saying it would not be profitable.
BP earlier this year suspended indefinitely a $ 9 bn exploration project in the Caspian because of territorial disputes between Iran and Azerbaijan. Five other exploration projects have been deserted by other oil companies, according to Natik Aliyev, president of State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan.

Analysts have said the smaller-than-expected finds in the Caspian could keep part of the Azeri-Turkish pipeline idle. Mann criticized such analysts.
"They're saying that with a Russian accent," he said, referring to Russia's effort to derail the project so the Caspian oil flows through Russia instead.
The oil companies broke ground in October 2002 for the 1750 km pipeline. Several hurdles that have delayed the construction of the Turkish section are being dealt with, Mann said. Turkish authorities and the oil companies have agreed to a "plan of work that will keep everything on deadline," Mann said.

Recent political upheaval in Georgia, which the pipeline also transits, will have no impact on the construction because all political groups in Georgia support the pipeline, Mann said.
Former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze was forced from power by mass demonstrations last month. The protesters charged that Georgian parliamentary elections on Nov. 2 were rigged.

Source: Neftegaz.RU
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