August 26, 2008

Kazakhstan Won’t Withdraw From Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline

ALMATY. Aug 25 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan has no plans to end its participation in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, which ships oil through Georgia to Turkey's Mediterranean coast, bypassing Russia, Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Yerzhan Ashikbayev said in Almaty on Monday.

"In order for Kazakhstan to withdraw from BTC, it would have to renounce, that is suspend the operation of, several agreements, including the one on Kazakhstan joining the BTC," Ashikbayev said.

"That hasn't happened yet. Where these rumors are coming from, I have no idea," he said in response to Western media reports that Kazakhstan is poised to withdraw from BTC owing to the Georgian- South Ossetian conflict.

The 1,767-km pipeline BTC pipeline includes 443 km in Azerbaijan, 248 km in Georgia and 1,076 km in Turkey. It has capacity to ship 50 million tonnes of oil a year.

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