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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Urges Speed on Caspian Pipeline

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Bill Clinton's special energy adviser called Monday for Caspian Sea nations to reach an agreement among themselves and with international oil companies for building the major pipeline to export oil from the region to western markets.

"It is critical to reach agreement now" if the $2.4 billion project is to be completed by 2004 when oil companies are expected to begin shipping substantially more oil from the Caspian, U.S. Ambassador John Wolf said in a speech to the annual meeting of the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce. The Clinton administration is encouraging a consortium of international oil companies to build the 1,730-kilometer pipeline that would stretch from the Azeri capital, Baku, through Georgia to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.

Wolf repeated the administration's desire to have the pipeline built to create a new oil supply for the West, boost the economic independence of the Caspian nations from Russia and enhance business opportunities for U.S. firms.