Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR and Kazakhstan's state monopoly KazMunaiGaz have signed an agreement to transfer Kazak oil across the Caspian Sea for entry into the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline and subsequent re-export to world markets.
The Kazakhstan-Caspian Transportation System (KCTS), as the new pipeline would be called, is to enable Kazakhstan to finally double its oil export capacity, a goal that has for long eluded it. KCTS is expected to handle 500,000 bpd by 2012, rising to 750,000 bpd later.
KCTS would also be a response to Russia’s unwillingness or inability to implement long-discussed Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) line. The CPC line takes oil from the Tengiz deposit in northwest Kazakhstan across southern Russia to the port of Novorossiisk on the Black Sea.