Chevron keen on participating in major oil pipeline project
Turkey said Friday that the US oil giant Chevron had expressed a desire to participate in a multi-billion-dollar pipeline project to carry Azeri oil via Turkey to western markets.
In a letter to the Turkish foreign ministry, Chevron said it would like to take part both in the engineering phase and the construction of the pipeline, which will stretch from Baku to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, the prime minister's office said in a statement.
Chevron said that it sought to start talks with the Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR toward that end, the Turkish statement said.
"This development shows that those left outside the international consortium set up for the construction of the pipeline have accepted that this project is commercially and economically viable," it added.
The Western consortium -- the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) -- will control 50 percent of the pipeline project.
The $2.4-billion (2.6-billion-euro) pipeline project is heavily backed by the United States, which strongly opposes pipelines from the Caspian going through Iran, claiming that Tehran supports international terrorism.
The construction of the pipeline, which is expected to move more than 350 million barrels of oil a year, is due to begin next year and be completed in 2004.
But the the project has been criticized for its high cost amid concerns over whether Azerbaijan has enough oil to make the pipeline from Baku commercially viable.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)