Japanese conglomerates intend to invest in the construction of the trans-Georgia pipeline for Caspian oil and the expansion of oil export terminals in Supsa and Batumi. The managements of Itohu and Marubeni have discussed details of these projects with Georgian International Oil Corporation chairman Georgi Chanturia, who reported this development on returning from Tokyo yesterday. The recently established GIOC acts the Georgian partner of international oil companies seeking to create the southern route for Caspian oil as an alternative to a Russian route. (Petroleum Information Agency, May 13) Projecting a substantial rise in its energy consumption after the year 2000, Japan supports the opening of export routes for Caspian oil and gas that would circumvent the Russian chokehold. For the same reasons Japan is considering investing in oil and gas transportation from Turkmenistan and Kazakstan via China to Japan.
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