Turkey’s state pipeline and gas agency Botas is seeking to form a construction consortium for a pipeline to export Azeri oil to Europe, company sources say. However, a final decision on whether the pipeline will actually pass through Turkey has not yet been taken. Azeri President Haydar Aliyev said on 6 May that such a route was favoured above routes to the Black Sea via Georgia and Russia. The main developer of Azeri oil fields, Azerbaijan International Operating Company, has said that a final decision has not been taken (MEED 16:5:97).

Turkish Energy & Natural Resources Minister Recai Kutan said on 15 May that studies are also to be initiated on a link with a Kazakh export pipeline. The studies will look at the possibility of exporting Kazakh oil through a pipeline under the Caspian Sea that will then link to the Azerbaijan-Turkey line.

A pipeline for Kazakh oil is already planned by the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC). The group proposes to build a pipeline from the Tengiz field to Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiisk. CPC announced on 20 May details of the volume of oil to be pumped through the pipeline and the share of capacity apportioned to each shareholder. Initial capacity will be 28 million tonnes a year (t/y), rising to 67 million t/y by 2014. When peak capacity is achieved, the US’ Chevron Corporation will have a share of 15 million t/y. Lukarco, a joint venture between Russia’s Lukoil and Arco of the US will have 10 million t/y. Oman Oil Company has the smallest share of the pipeline’s capacity at 1.4 million t/y.