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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oil Majors Assure Kazakhs On CPC Pipeline Project

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Western oil majors assured Kazakhstan's government Wednesday that the pipeline from the country's huge Tengiz oil field to Russia would be ready on time despite sharply higher cost estimates.

Senior officials from Mobil, Chevron, Amoco and Shell, participating in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, or CPC, implementing the project, attended a confidential meeting with Prime Minister Nurlan Balgimbayev.

Government spokesman Viktor Kiyanitsa quoted an official from the CPC project planning group as saying: "We do not have a feeling that the implementation of the project will be delayed."

Kiyanitsa said Nick Zana, director general of Tengizchevroil, a $20 billion joint venture between Chevron, Mobil and Kazakhstan, had also given assurances on behalf of other CPC members that construction would be finished on time. "CPC is doing whatever is possible to speed up the implementation of the project," he quoted Zana as saying.

The spokesman said the investors had assured the government the pipeline would be built by early 2000. According to previous estimates, CPC should become operational by late 2000.

The 1,500-kilometer CPC pipeline from Tengiz in the west of the oil-rich Central Asian state to Russia's Black Sea port of Novorossiisk is expected to have initial annual capacity of 28 million tons, rising to 67 million tons by 2014.

Balgimbayev said his meeting with the CPC members had been prompted by President Boris Yeltsin's concern, expressed during his meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Moscow last week, that construction might be delayed.

The CPC representative told Balgimbayev that the consortium had contacted governors of several Russian regions whose land would be crossed by the pipeline. He said CPC had been able to secure two land allocation permits from the governor of the Astrakhan region and the city of Novorossiisk.