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Kazakhstan To Join BTC Pipeline

(RFE/RL) June 8, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has said Astana will sign an agreement with Azerbaijan this month to pump Kazakh-produced oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported.

Speaking at an investment conference in Almaty today, Nazarbaev suggested the deal would be signed on the sidelines of a summit of the Council on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, scheduled for June 17 in the Kazakh commercial capital.

Kazakh officials have said the country could ship up to 30 million tons of oil yearly through the U.S.-backed pipeline. The $4 billion pipeline bypasses Russia, carrying Caspian oil to Western markets via Georgia and Turkey.

(with material from AP, AFP, Interfax)

Caspian Energy Special

Caspian Energy Special

For a complete archive of RFE/RL's coverage of energy issues in the Caspian Sea region and Russia, click here.

HOW MUCH OIL? The U.S. Energy Information Administration has estimated that the Caspian could hold between 17 billion and 33 billion barrels of proven oil. ("Proven reserves" are defined by energy experts to be 90 percent probable.) Other experts estimate the Caspian could hold "possible reserves" of up to 233 billion barrels of oil. ("Possible reserves" are considered to be 50 percent probable.) By comparison, Saudi Arabia has 261 billion barrels of oil and the United States 23 billion...(more)

See also:

Economic Forecast For 2006 Sees Growth, But Danger In Continued High Oil Prices

How Vast Are The Riches In The Caspian?

Experts Envision A Future Beyond Oil

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