Azerbaijan Favors Georgian Oil Route

BAKU (Itar-Tass)–Azeri President Gaidar Aliyev said he favors a Georgian route of oil transportation to international markets.

In his meeting with Georgian Ambassador Georgy Chanturia on Monday–Aliyev said that Azerbaijan is considering four routes of oil transportation–one of which is expected to be built by the turn of the century. Georgia is involved in three of them.

The following routes are being contemplated–Russian to Novorossiisk–Georgian to Supsa–Turkish to Ceyhan in the Mediterranean via Georgia and Ukrainian to the Druzhba oil main through Georgia–Odessa and Brody.

Specialists do not rule out that the Russian route may be extended to Burgas–Bulgaria–and Alexandroupolis–Greece–if Turkey closes the Bosphorus and Dardanelles.

Aliyev said these routes are being studied by a special working group which will represent Azerbaijan’s interests at the talks with potential contractors.

According to preliminary estimates–the pipeline will be able to handle some 70 million tons of oil annually. About half of it will come from Kazakhstan’s Tengiz oil field.

Under an agreement signed in June 1997–Tengiz oil will be transported to Azerbaijan by an underwater pipeline.


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