Georgian parliament ratifies Baku-Ceyhan agreement

Georgian parliamentary deputies voted unanimously May 31 to ratify a package of agreements for construction of the Baku-Ceyhan oil export pipeline from the Caspian Sea region to the Turkish Mediterranean Coast. Georgia stands to earn up to $62.5 million in annual transit fees from oil transported through that pipeline.


MOSCOW�Georgian parliamentary deputies have ratified a package of agreements for construction of the Baku-Ceyhan oil export pipeline from the Caspian Sea region to the Turkish Mediterranean Coast. Georgia stands to earn up to $62.5 million in annual transit fees from oil transported through that pipeline.

On May 31, the Georgian Parliament voted unanimously to ratify the contract signed by Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey on construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Main Export Pipeline. Despite a unanimous approval, Nino Burdjanadze, head of Parliament's international relations committee, says the contract was ratified with some conditions: If the price for the transportation of the oil is more than $2.50/bbl, Georgia retains the right to raise the tariff on oil transported through its territory.

The Milli Mejlis of Azerbaijan had ratified the contract on May 26. The Turkish Parliament has yet to vote on ratification. Ismail Cem, Turkish foreign minister, says the contract will be ratified by June 10, however.

In Baku, Valekh Alesqerov, a senior official of the State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic, said that the governments of the three states will not have to meet any of the estimated $2.4 billion construction costs. Those costs will be borne by a special consortium, still to be formed, which will seek loans from international financial institutions. He expressed the hope that some oil from Kazakhstan will also be exported via the Baku-Ceyhan route.

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