Last month, Reuters reported that oil companies in Kazakhstan had begun testing alternative routes for supplying oil to the European Union, including a route via the Caspian port of Aktau to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (called BTC).
The new routes would allow companies to bypass transit through the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), connecting oil fields in western Kazakhstan to Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.
Kazakhstan’s oil exports represent more than one percent of world supplies, or about 1.4 million barrels per day. For 20 years, it was transported by the CPC pipeline to Novorossiysk and to the world market.
In July, a Russian court threatened to shut down the CPC due to defects violating nature conservation. The government of Kazakhstan and large foreign companies then concluded contracts with other companies, Kommersant wrote.
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Last year, 54 million tons of Kazakh CPC Blend light oil was exported through the CPC pipeline, which means 1.2 million barrels per day. 80 percent of the oil exported from Kazakhstan still flows through the terminal in the Russian port of Novorossiysk.
The pipeline’s handling capacity is 67 million tons per year. Its length is over 1,500 km, and in addition to Transneft, the other shareholders are KazMunayGas (19 percent), Chevron Caspian Pipeline Consortium Company (15 percent), LUKARCO (12.5 percent), Mobil Caspian Pipeline Company (7.5 percent), Rosneft-Shell Caspian Ventures Limited (7.5 percent) and Eni International (two percent).
The BTC pipeline stretches for 1,760 kilometers. Up to a million barrels of oil can flow through it daily on the route from the Caspian Sea through Georgia to the terminal in Ceyhan on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. It mainly transports Azerbaijani oil, which is of very high quality.
The pipeline began operations in 2006 and is the first to flow oil produced in the Caspian Sea region and not through Russian territory. The main shareholder with a share of 30.1 percent is the British company BP.
Azerbaijan’s state oil company Socar holds 25 percent. Other shareholders are the American companies Chevron and ConocoPhillips, the Norwegian StatoilHydro, the Italian Eni and the French Total.
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