Caspian oil group to double pipeline capacity

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Russia, Kazakhstan and a group of private oil companies announced a 5.4-billion-dollar (4.0-billion-euro) investment on Wednesday, nearly doubling the capacity of a link between a major Kazakh oil field and a Russian port on the Black Sea.

The Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) said the investment in the 980-mile (1,580-kilometre) pipeline from Tengiz to Novorossiisk would increase capacity to 1.4 million barrels per day from the current 730,000 barrels by 2014.

"This important achievement was made possible by the leadership and support of the governments of Russia and Kazakhstan," said Chevron CEO John Watson, whose US company holds a 15-percent stage in CPC, third-largest behind Russia and Kazakhstan.

The CPC said the pipeline would now be able carry not only Tengiz oil but also that from other Russian and Kazakh fields in the area.

The Tengiz field is one of the world's biggest, with Chevron estimating its recoverable reserves at six to nine billion barrels.

© 2010 AFP

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