ChevronTexaco Interested in Joining Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline

ChevronTexaco confirmed its plans to join the projected Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, to run from Azerbaijan to Turkey. "We are talking with SOCAR and with the operator of Baku-Ceyhan, BP on participating in the project," said Richard Matzke, deputy chairman of ChevronTexaco, after meeting President Haydar Aliyev.

"I'm confident that we will soon enter the project, which we consider to be profitable." The pipeline, if built, aims to carry one million barrels a day of Caspian oil to Western markets. Turkish officials had said earlier this year that Chevron was interested in the project, which has received strong backing from the United States although some oil companies have said that the pipeline would be too expensive. BP holds 25.41 percent in the project sponsor group, the other members are SOCAR with 45 percent, Unocal with 7.48 percent, Statoil with 6.37 percent, Turkish Petroleum with 5.02 percent, Eni 5.0 with percent, Itochu with 2.92 percent, Ramco with 1.55 percent and Delta Hess with 1.25 percent. SOCAR is expected to reduce its stake in the group to 15 percent by selling off its interest to new participants.