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Caspian Oil Pipeline Expansion to Finish in 2015, Transneft Says

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The Caspian Pipeline Consortium’s crude link that runs from northwest Kazakhstan to the Black Sea will reach full capacity by 2015, according to OAO Transneft.

The expansion is still dependent on whether fields being developed have started production, Mikhail Barkov, a vice-president at Russia’s state-owned pipeline operator, said today in Moscow. The link’s output is to be increased to 67 million metric tons annually, or 1.4 million barrels a day.

The CPC pipeline carries roughly half that volume of crude from Kazakh fields including Chevron Corp.-led Tengiz to a terminal close to the Russian port of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea. The first phase of the expansion to add 10 million metric tons, or about 210,000 barrels a day, will be finished this year or by early 2014, Barkov said.

Chevron, the biggest corporate shareholder in the pipeline with a 15 percent stake, is ready to fulfil the expanded first phase, Barkov said. BG Group Plc and Eni SpA, which operate the Karachaganak field that feeds into CPC, are also shareholders along with Exxon Mobil Corp., OAO Rosneft, OAO Lukoil and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

CPC Blend is a light, sweet or low-sulfur grade with a density of 44.2 degrees on the American Petroleum Institute scale and a sulfur content of 0.53 percent, according to Chevron.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rachel Graham in London at rgraham13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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