Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 121

Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze and Chevron overseas president Richard Matzke conferred yesterday in Tbilisi on the transportation of oil from Kazakstan’s giant Tengiz field, a Chevron joint venture. Chevron is fully satisfied with the experimental transportation of Tengiz oil by rail via Azerbaijan and Georgia to the Georgian port Batumi and favors the construction of a large-capacity pipeline, Matzke was quoted as saying. He noted that the support expressed by Shevardnadze and his Kazak and Azerbaijani counterparts, Nursultan Nazarbaev and Haidar Aliev, for the trans-Georgia pipeline will have a considerable influence on the choice of the oil export route. (Russian agencies, June 19)

The chief merits of the Azerbaijan-Georgia route are its directness to prospective consumers and the circumvention of Russia. The project presupposes as its first stage the construction of an undersea pipeline from Tengiz to a terminal near Baku. At present, Tengiz oil is being delivered in small amounts by tankers across the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, then carried by rail to Batumi. Chevron, meanwhile, along with its partner Mobil and Kazakstan have agreed with Moscow to build a large-capacity export pipeline from Tengiz via Russia. The outlook for that pipeline remains uncertain, however.

Japan Entering Caspian Oil Business in Force.