Pena Favors Baku Ceyhan Oil Route

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–US Energy Secretary Federico Pena–traveling through Central Asia–said Wednesday the US favors the Baku-Ceyhan route for later oil exports from Azerbaijan.

"I’ve also been trying to get the ball moving towards… realization of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline; that is a route that can meet industry needs," Pena said in a conference call from Baku–where he was attending a celebration to mark the start of initial oil exports by the Azeri International Oil Co.–the operating arm of the international consortium developing three of Azerbaijan’s Caspian oil fields. The initial–or "early oil" production–will be carried through Russian export routes.

Pena had already visited Turkey and Armenia when he spoke to reporters–and will go on to Kazakstan–Turkmen’stan and London during his week-long trip. The trip is aimed at promoting US interests in the region–he said–which includes the establishment of multiple export routes for Caspian oil.

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