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Kazakhstan to join Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline in October

Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik announced in Aktau on 4 August that Kazakhstan will join the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline project in October, "Kazakhstan Today" reported. Shkolnik said the eventual connection between Aktau in Kazakhstan and Baku in Azerbaijan will initially function as an independent link carrying 7.5 million tons of oil a year.

The hook-up to the BTC will also involve the construction of a new storage and transport terminal in Kuryk, a port 76 kilometers outside Aktau. The entire project will be timed to coincide with the beginning of production at Kazakhstan's Kashagan oil field. Production at Kashagan is expected to begin in 2008, according to ExxonMobil's Kashagan development plan.

(RFE/RL 05.viii.05)

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