Chevron Agrees to Oil Pipeline Deal

ATYRAU, Kazakhstan -- U.S. oil company Chevron agreed with Kazakhstan on Friday to press ahead with a new domestic oil pipeline, part of a broader $3 billion project to link Caspian oil deposits with international markets.

Kazakhstan pumps most of its oil through Russia, but it has irritated Moscow in past years by announcing plans to build more pipelines and diversify exports toward Western Europe.

The pipeline, to be built along Kazakhstan's western coast on the Caspian Sea, was discussed at a meeting between senior Chevron officials and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

"It is very important that we reached agreement with Chevron," Nazarbayev told reporters in Atyrau after the talks.

The 750-kilometer, $1.5 billion pipeline is due to feed oil from Kazakhstan's biggest oil fields -- Tengiz, developed by a Chevron-led group, and Kashagan, which has yet to start production -- into the BP-led Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.