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Azerbaijan Group Expects Washington To Stop Pressing For Ceyhan Route.

The BP-led Azerbaijan International Operating Co. (AIOC) believes that the US will eventually accept its preferred project to build the final 60m t/y crude oil pipeline from Baku to Georgia's Black Sea port of Supsa, says an APS source. As crude oil prices on the spot market have fallen below $10/barrel, there is no way the AIOC would opt from Washington's preferred route to Turkey's Mediterranean terminal of Ceyhan which would cost about $3.7 bn. The route to Supsa would cost about $1.2 bn, with a terminal to cost another $400m.

BP and Amoco, which are to merge by end-1998, continue to trade with the Turkish oil refiner Tupras. The energy ministry in Ankara had threatened that it would impose a ban on the purchase of crude oil from BP and Amoco if AIOC did not opt for the Ceyhan route. But AIOC is not saying openly what route it would take. On Dec. 4, when AIOC met with the Azeri state-owned NOC Socar in Baku, the consortium postponed for the third time a final decision on the route.
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Publication:APS Review Oil Market Trends
Geographic Code:9AZER
Date:Dec 14, 1998
Previous Article:Unocal Pulls Out Of Central Asia As Low Prices Halt The Caspian Oil Rush.
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