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The Trans-Caspian Oil Pipeline is a proposed oil pipeline from the Kazakhstanimarker port of Aktaumarker to Bakumarker in Azerbaijanmarker. A 700 kilometer long pipeline linked with the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in Baku will transport oil from the major Kazakhstani oilfield at Kashaganmarker to world markets bypassing Russiamarker. Construction across environmentally fragile and legally disputed segments of the Caspian Seamarker is predicated upon construction of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (see that article for details).

Work for the pipeline is still in the feasibility stage according to an official from the oil company Total. The pipeline would provide an important export route for oil from Western Kazakhstan. Work so far has run in parallel with ongoing negotiations between the Azerbaijani and Kazakh governments concerning supply agreements to the BTC pipeline. The Kazakh government has agreed to supply 150,000 b/d initially and optionally increase this to 400,000 b/d.

A strong push for the project has been from the partners of the Kashagan oilfield project and in particular Total who has a share in both the field and the BTC pipeline. They have estimated that such a project would cost roughly $4 billion USD dollars and suggested that it could be operational by 2010. However this timetable and cost estimation appears likely to change due to a global rise in the cost of services and shortages of equipment in the petroleum industry. The project also faces opposition from Iran and Russia, both alternative avenues for Kazakhstan's oil and gas who would likely object to competing pipelines being built.

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  • The Globalization of Energy Resources: Tapping Caspian Oil and Gas. Lecture presented by Jonathan Elkind, Independent energy, environment and security consultant and former Director for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian Affairs, National Security Council (1998-2001). October 19, 2006. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.



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