AIOC: Caspian oil exporters may not need big export line before 2005

Azerbaijan International Operating Co., a key player in the Caspian oil export puzzle, contends that Caspian oil exporters might not need a high-capacity main export pipeline (MEP) to Ceyhan, Turkey, until 2005. Transporting crude from Baku, Azerbaijan, to a Mediterranean terminal at Ceyhan is the Caspian oil export option that the U.S., Turkey, and Azerbaijani governments prefer. AIOC has to date resisted U.S., Turkish, and Azerbaijani pressure to support the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline plan. Building an MEP along the proposed route through Turkey would prove more expensive than expansion of the Baku-Novorossiisk or Baku-Supsa pipelines, consortium officials believe (see related stor...

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