Azerbaijan Turkmen’stan Discuss Oil

BAKU (RFE/RL)–Hassan Hassanov told journalists Tuesday that legal and oil experts that from Azerbaijan and Turkmen’stan will meet in October to discuss dividing the Caspian into national sectors–Itar-Tass reported.

Hassanov told LUKoil President Vagif Alekperov in Baku two weeks earlier that Turkmen’stan has agreed to an Azeri proposal to divide the Kyapaz/Serdar oil field–according to "Nezavisimaya gazeta." Both countries claim ownership of that field.

Visiting Baku Tuesday Transneft Vice President Oleg Gordeev assured the leadership of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR that work began that day on repairs to the Baku-Grozny-Novorossiisk pipeline through which Azerbaijan’s "early" Caspian oil is to be exported, Russian and Azeri agencies reported.

Gordeev said the repairs will be completed within 22 days and that the first tanker-load of oil could leave Novorossiisk in December–according to "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on Wednesday.

Meanwhile–Russian First Deputy Premier Boris Nemtsov–who is also fuel and energy minister told Reuters that the alternative Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline bypassing Chechnya can be completed in nine months and that Russia will issue Eurobonds to meet the cost. "Trud" on reported–however–that Novorossiisk Mayor Valerii Prokhorenko categorically opposes construction of the alternative pipeline on ecological grounds.

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