Increased Kazakh Oil Exports Lead To Congested Waterways

Monday, April 09, 2001
A top Kazakhstan's official said on Monday that fears of tanker congestion in the Bosphorus and Dardanelles waterways resulting from increased Kazakh oil exports were unfounded and safety standards would be respected.

The Bosphorus, crossed annually by some 50,000 vessels, of which 14 percent carry oil, will see more tanker traffic from the Russian port of Novorossiisk when oil is loaded from a new pipeline leading from Kazakhstan's giant Tengiz field.

"This (congestion) issue is a far-fetched one, and we are ready to cooperate and be responsible for respecting all safety and ecological norms," the official said.

The Turkish government voiced concern last month that tankers carrying oil from the new Russian-Kazakh pipeline might delay and imperil passage of other vessels through the straits linking the Black Sea with the Mediterranean.

Novorossiisk, Russia's main Black Sea export outlet, is due to start filling tankers with Kazakh oil this summer.

Analysts say the multi-national Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) will transport some seven or eight million tons (140,000-160,000 barrels per day) of oil through the pipeline this year.

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