Industry sources warned on March 29th that the newly opened pipeline from the Tengiz oil field in Kazakstan to Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiisk will need between 17 and 28 million-barrel tankers to serve it, adding to the congestion of the Bosphorus sea lane.
The line has been started with an initial capacity of 560,000 b/d and is expected to carry an average of 800,000 b/d this year. Total capacity is expected to reach about 1.5 million b/d.
Turkish minister for maritime affairs Ramazan Mirzaoglu said that Ankara would launch an investigation into the safety threat posed by the increased tanker traffic.
Mirzaoglu said that: “The Turkish straits are already at their limits. When they start carrying Kazak oil from Novorossiisk by tankers that will deadlock the traffic at our waterways.”
He indicated that Turkey would urge that ships carrying oil through the Bosphorus should be double-hulled and no older than a certain age.
He also said that foreign captains would be strongly encouraged to use tugs and pilots when sailing through the area, which is frequently plagued by collisions.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)