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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Turkey Says Blue Stream On Track

ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Multibillion-dollar Turkish regional energy projects will continue to be implemented even if U.S. retaliation for Sept. 11 attacks on its soil destabilizes the region, Turkish energy officials said Wednesday.

"No projects will be disrupted even in case of a war or regional tension," Energy Minister Zeki Cakan said.

"The Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project, the Blue Stream gas project and the Iranian gas project will all continue their progress," he told reporters on the sidelines of an international energy conference in Istanbul.

The projects he referred to are a $2.9 billion crude pipeline project to export Caspian oil to Western markets, a $2.3 billion project to get Russian gas via a pipeline under the Black Sea and a $23 billion, 23-year deal to buy Iranian gas.

Turkey has pledged to cooperate fully with the United States against those accused by Washington over the devastating attacks on New York and Washington that killed about 7,000 people.

Some of the energy projects involve Western contractors, but Cakan did not see problems with them. "No expression of concern or worry has been extended to us regarding the projects."

The Baku-Ceyhan project, carried out by a sponsor grouping led by BP, is in a detailed engineering phase that is to be completed next year.

Construction work for the 1 million barrel-per-day pipeline is planned to last for 32 months from mid-2002.

The Blue Stream gas project's sea passage has been undertaken by gas giant Gazprom and Italy's Eni. It is expected to deliver up to 16 billion cubic meters a year at its peak.

A source close to Italy's Eni and the Blue Stream project said there was "no way to stop or interrupt the project from progressing."

A large platform belonging to Saipem, a unit of Eni, is currently laying pipes under the Black Sea from Russia to the Turkish coast.

The Iranian project is near to launching and Cakan said Turkey was only waiting for Iran to complete a compression station on Iranian soil for gas deliveries, due to reach 10 bcm a year after 2005, to start.