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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Aliyev pushes Polish-Azeri pipe

13 September 2007 - Upstream OnLine - A plan to extend an existing pipeline to bring Caspian oil to Poland and Western Europe has strong political backing but would need very positive economic conditions to proceed, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said. Aliyev said today that Azerbaijan could produce the necessary extra crude to feed the extended pipeline. "We are planning to increase our output ... and we have a huge potential, but we can increase only if we have way to transport," Reuters reported Aliyev told a news conference in Vilnius after meeting Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus. The leaders discussed energy co-operation, including the project to extend the Odessa-Brody pipeline to Poland to transport Caspian crude. The flow of the pipeline, which now carries Russian crude to the Black Sea, would be reversed under the scheme. "Polish and Baltic markets are very attractive to us, and there is a very strong political support to this project, but it needs to have very favourable economic conditions to be feasible," Aliyev said. He said Azerbaijan currently produces around 1 million barrels of crude per day, but could increase output if more transport routes were available. He declined to speculate on the volumes of Azeri crude that would be transported via an Odessa-Brody-Gdansk pipeline. In May, the leaders of Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Lithuania, Georgia and Poland agreed to establish a joint company to work on the pipeline. Leaders of the countries involved are scheduled to meet again in October in Vilnius. The Azeri president said he expected experts to provide more details on the feasibility of the project by that time.

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