Phil Meek, president of the joint U.S.-Kazakhstani oil company Chevron-Munaigas, told a press conference in Kazakhstan on November 3 that the Kazakhstani government has approved the feasibility study for the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC). A day later, President of Chevron Overseas, Richard Matzke, informed Reuters that the Russian government is likely to approve the project within days.
Such an endorsement would arrive five years after the CPC was first launched by Russia, Kazakhstan and Oman. The project plans the construction of a US$2.2 billion, 1500 kilometer pipeline linking the vast Tengiz field in Kazakhstan’s southwestern region of Atyrau to Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiisk. The pipeline has an expected capacity of 560,000 barrels per day (bpd), far above the existing undercapacity of 210,000 bpd of exported oil. Expected completion of the pipeline is 2001 (Euroforum Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Conference [London], April 29 and 30).
Fifty percent of the CPC’s shares are held by the founders–Russia (24 percent), Kazakhstan (19 percent) and Oman (7 percent). Most of the remainder is divided among Chevron (15 percent), Russia’s LUKoil with ARCO (12.5 percent), Russian Rosneft with Shell (7 percent), Mobil (7.5 percent), British Gas PLO (2 percent), Italy’s Agip (2 percent), US Oryx (1.75 percent) and Kazakhstan’s Munaigas (1.75 percent). Once the oil has reached Novorosiisk it will be delivered by tankers to the Mediterranean Sea via the Bosphorus strait. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s minister for foreign affairs, Kasymjomart Tokaev, used this week to reiterate his country’s multipipeline policy (Russian agencies, November 2), alluding also to the October 29 Ankara agreement (see the Monitor, November 2).–SC
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