ECONOMY

Halliburton chief discusses participation in Baku-Ceyhan pipeline with Azeris

BAKU (Reuters) – US oilfield services company Halliburton may be chosen to widen the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline transporting oil from the Caspian to the Mediterranean, an official from Azeri state oil firm SOCAR said yesterday. The official did not give a figure for the future maximum capacity of the pipeline, which is expected to come on stream next month, but said the question was still under discussion. David Lesar, Halliburton’s president, met with the heads of SOCAR and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev in Baku on June 13. Azeri Industry Minister Natik Aliyev had earlier said the capacity of the $4 billion pipeline could be increased to 1.7 million barrels per day by building new pumping stations and using chemical agents. Without work to expand capacity, the pipeline is expected to pump more than 1 million bpd. Raising the capacity would also enable the pipeline to pump 25-30 million tons of crude a year (520,000-625,000 bpd) from Kazakhstan and other sources. «There are no doubts that Halliburton’s vast experience will come in useful during large-scale engineering works to increase Baku-Ceyhan pipeline capacity,» said SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev in a statement. Earlier, Halliburton had been involved in engineering works in the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli offshore oilfields in the Caspian Sea.