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Kazakhstan is able to export up to an annual 30 million tons of petroleum via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
Kazakhstan is able to export up to an annual 30 million tons of petroleum via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, or BTC, mainline, with a design throughput of 50 million tons. "We expect Kazakhstan to deliver up to 30 million tons a year in that direction, and we regard this prospect among our principal economic development prerequisites," Danial Akhmetov, Kazakh Prime Minister, said to a news conference in Astana, Kazakh capital, today. The conference was convened following his negotiations with Recep Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, currently in Kazakhstan on an official visit. "We are endeavoring on dynamic development of the Caspian maritime infrastructure to be active on [BTC] project implementation." The southward route toward a Turkish oil terminal in the East Mediterranean is presently under consideration on a par with several alternatives, which are to diversify the geography of Kazakh oil exports. In particular, a mainline to link Kazakhstan with China's west will be laid within the year, said the Premier. The Azeri stretch of the export-oriented BTC mainline was commissioned in Baku yesterday. Attending the gala were Presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, Mikhail Saakashvili of Georgia, and Ahmet Sezer of Turkey; Samuel Bodman, US Secretary of Energy; and Igor Yusupov, the Russian President's special envoy for transnational energy issues. Russia views the new line as a formidable competitor of the now active line across the Russian south, north of the BTC. It goes via Daghestan and Chechnya to Novorossiisk, Russian Black Sea terminal. The BTC will have a total length of 1,773 kilometers-the Azeri stretch 449, Georgian 235, and Turkish 1,059, to reach the Ceyhan terminal. It will take ten million barrels to make the project effective. Petroleum will be piped from the Azeri-Chirag-Gyuneshli field in the Azeri sector of the Caspian. A maiden tanker voyage from Ceyhan is expected to start some day between next October and the year's end. As preliminary estimations have it, roughly $400 million is necessary to fill the pipe with technical petroleum at 10 million barrels. Started in 2001, total construction costs are estimated at four billion dollars. The 1,050 mm pipe will have a design throughput of 50 million tons, or a million barrels a day. The BTC consortium has the following stockholders: British Petroleum, 30.1%; the Azeri State Petroleum Company, 25%; Unocal, 8.9%; Statoil, 8.71%; TRAO, 6.53%; Eni, 5%; Total, 5%; Itochu, 3.4%; INPEX, 2.5%; ConocoPhillips, 2.5%; and Amerada Hess, 2.36%.
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