Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor
HOUSTON, Dec. 15 -- The shareholders and governing bodies of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium have unanimously approved a $5.4 billion expansion of the Caspian pipeline. The capacity of the 900-mile pipeline, which transports oil from Western Kazakhstan to a dedicated terminal in the Black Sea, will increase to 1.4 million b/d from its current capacity of 730,000 b/d.
Chevron Corp. describes the expansion as a critical step toward enabling expanded development of Tengiz oil field, one of the world’s largest with estimated recoverable reserves of 6-9 billion bbl. CPC will carry Tengiz crude oil and also transport oil from other Kazakh and Russian fields.
CPC will implement the expansion in three phases with capacity increasing between 2012 and 2015. The expansion includes refurbishment of the existing 5 pump stations, addition of 10 pumping stations, replacement of a 55-mile section of the line, 6 new storage tanks, and the addition of a third offshore mooring point at the Black Sea terminal, 6 miles north of the Port of Novorossiysk.
The three largest CPC shareholders, Transneft, KazMunaiGaz, and Chevron, will provide project management services and are in the final stages negotiating construction contracts with awards expected first-quarter 2011.
The 1.2 million b/d Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, though used primarily to transport Azeri production, also has agreements to carry oil from Tengiz. State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) announced plans to begin a major expansion of its oil export terminal at Kulevi on Georgia’s Black Sea coastline in April, doubling capacity to 20 million tonnes/year possibly by yearend 2011, at least in part to transport Tengiz crude (OGJ Online, Apr. 30, 2010).
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