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AZERBAIJAN - The Azeri Pipeline Projects.

Baku, with US backing, wants to be the hub for oil and gas pipelines from the Caspian to Europe. The Caspian, the world's largest inland sea, stands between the oilfields of western Kazakhstan and Europe. Washington has been promoting a set of trans-Caspian pipelines for oil and gas to reach Europe through Baku and Turkey's Mediterranean terminal of Ceyhan, with the US Trade and Development Agency having spent $750,000 on feasibility studies.

However, experts have warned about the unpredictable and active seismic nature of this partly shallow sea. Pipelines laid on the seabed would be exposed to risk yet to be studied. Years before Amoco of the US was bought by BP in 1999, Amoco Eurasia proposed a cheap alternative: a fleet of tug-pushed, double-hulled barges to ply across the sea from Aktau (Kazakhstan) to Baku. They would carry up to 500,000 b/d of Kazakh crudes. From Baku the crudes and AIOC's exports, would be pumped by pipeline. The fleet, to cost about $400-500m, could be put into operation within 30 months.
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Publication:APS Review Oil Market Trends
Date:Jul 19, 2004
Words:175
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