Tuesday, March 27, 2007

South Caucasus refinery boom

Tuesday, March 27, 2007
The Messenger
By M. Alkhazashvili(Translated by Diana Dundua)

An oil refinery boom has begun in the South Caucasus. Most of the refineries will be constructed in Georgia and Armenia - places that currently do not have a significant amount of their own oil.

Two oil refineries will be built in Georgia. One will be constructed in Kulevi by SOCAR, the state oil company of Azerbaijan, with a capacity of processing 5-10 million tons of oil annually. The Kulevi oil terminal should open soon and as early as this year it is expected to process as much as 10 million barrels of oil.

A second refinery will be built in Batumi and it will refine crude oil exported from Kazakhstan. President of KazMunayGaz Uzakbai Karabalin and the Chairman of Batumi Oil Terminal Jan Bonde Nielsen signed an agreement on building joint owned oil refineries. The refinery's capacity will be 5-7 million tons annually.

A similar facility will be built in Armenia to process Iranian oil. Its potential capacity could reach seven million tons a year. A minimum of USD 1.7 billion will be spent on its construction. An additional USD 1 billion will be spent for the necessary transport infrastructure.

According to the Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vardan Oskanian, creation of the oil refineries and implementation of a railway project between Iran and Armenia will help strengthen the energy security of the country, reports the newspaper Rezonansi.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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