Trans-Caspian Oil Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Trans-Caspian Oil Pipeline is a proposed project to transport oil through the Caspian Sea from Kazakhstani Caspian oilfields to Baku in Azerbaijan for the further transportation to the Mediterranean or Black Sea coast. The main options under consideration are an offshore oil pipeline from Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan, and construction of oil terminals and oil tankers fleet.[1][2][3][4] A strong push for the project has come from the partners of the Kashagan oilfield project and in particular Total who has a share in both the field and the BTC pipeline. They have estimated that such a project would cost roughly US$4 billion. The project also faces opposition from Iran and Russia, both alternative avenues for Kazakhstan's oil and gas who would likely object to competing pipelines being built.[2]


The pipeline would originate in the Kashagan field of Kuryk, Kazakhstan, transverse the Caspian Sea from west-to-east, and terminate to Baku, Azerbaijan.

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Project Details

  • Operator: Total
  • Proposed capacity: 150,000 barrels per day
  • Length: 700 kilometres (430 miles)
  • Oil source: Kashagan field, Kazakhstan
  • Status: Shelved


In 2005, the Government of Kazakhstan adopted plans for creation of a trans-Caspian westbound route for oil export.[3] On 19 June 2006, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed a framework agreement on the trans-Caspian oil transport system.[4] On 24 January 2007, partners in TengizChevroil (developer of Tengiz field) and KCO (Kashagan field developer)signed a memorandum of understanding to create a trans-Caspian oil transport system.[5] On 2 October 2009, the national oil company of Kazakhstan Kazmunaygas and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic signed a memorandum of understanding to expand the Caspian Oil Transport System to include Azeri infrastructure and onshore pipelines from Baku to Kulevi oil terminal in Georgia.[6][7]

On 6 October 2009, an agreement on the oil pipeline from Kashagan to Baku was signed by a consortium of French companies during the French President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to Kazakhstan.[8]

In November 2016, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan signed an agreement confirming the two countries' intentions to build the pipeline despite unsettled legal and policy issues pertaining to the Caspian Sea.[9] The reaffirmation came following the beginning of commercial production at Kashagan after years of delay. In July 2018 the two governments were reported to be working on the developing the pipeline and the connecting Kazakhstan Caspian Transportation System.[10] As of July 2020 the project had not progressed in two years and appears to be shelved.

Oil pipeline

A 700-km long oil pipeline will run from Kashagan field or Kuryk to Baku.[3][8] The larger purpose of the pipeline would be to connect Kazak oil exports to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline that extends through the Caucasus to the Mediterranean. Expanding tanker capacity as an alternative to constructing the pipeline is considered prohibitively expensive because the Caspian Sea is landlocked, so ships would need to be constructed in modules elsewhere and assembled on-site or large investments made to existing shipyards.[11]

Shuttle tankers system

The shuttle tankers system envisages an usage of oil tankers to transport oil from Kuryk terminal in Kazakhstan to Sangachal Terminal in Azerbaijan.[5] The capacity of this system would be 500,000 barrels per day in the initial stage, rising later up to 1.2 million barrels per day.[6]

Articles and resources


  1. Guliyev, Farid; Akhrarkhodjaeva, Nozima (2008-11-18). "Transportation of Kazakhstani Oil via the Caspian Sea (TKOC). Arrangements, Actors and Interests" (PDF). RussCasp Working Paper. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Kashagan Partners Eye US$4-bil. Trans-Caspian Oil Transport System to Connect to BTC Pipeline". IHS Global Insight. 2006-06-09. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Socor, Vladimir (2005-05-05). "Trans-Caspian Oil Pipeline Planned in Kazakhstan". Eurasia Daily Monitor. The Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Socor, Vladimir (2006-06-20). "Oil Tanker Shipment — the Short-term Default for Trans-Caspian Oil". Eurasia Daily Monitor. The Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Socor, Vladimir (2007-01-24). "Western Majors Sign Agreement of Intent on Trans-Caspian Oil Transport System". Eurasia Daily Monitor. The Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "SOCAR, Kazmunaigaz Sign New Caspian Oil Transit Accords". IHS Global Insight. 2009-10-05. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
  7. "Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan sign documents on Trans-Caspian project and new pipeline". Trend News Agency. 2009-10-02. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Watkins, Eric; Leblond, Doris (2009-10-06). "France, Kazakhstan seal long-term energy accords". Oil & Gas Journal. 107 (38). PennWell Corporation. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
  9. Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan plan an undersea trans-Caspian oil pipeline, The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 7 Nov. 2016
  10. Settling the Caspian Issue and Realizing the Trans-Caspian Energy Corridor, The Diplomat, Jul. 10, 2018
  11. Watch the Throne: Trans-Caspian Pipeline Meets Succession Politics in Kazakhstan, The Diplomat, 16 Feb. 2017

Related articles

External resources

External articles

Wikipedia also has an article on Trans-Caspian Oil Pipeline (Trans-Caspian Oil Pipeline). This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License].