BAKU, Azerbaijan, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- The volume of crude oil coming from the Caspian region will pass 360 million barrels per year once the Kazakhstan Caspian transport system comes online in 2012.
Feasibility studies on the Kazakhstan Caspian transport system, KCTS, are set for completion in the second half of the year. KCTS will export oil from the offshore Kashagan and Tengiz oil fields in Kazakhstan to export markets through connections to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in its corresponding arteries.
KCTS will consist of the Eskene-Kurik pipeline in Kazakhstan and the Trans-Caspian project, a series of terminals and tankers connecting to BTC, the world's second-longest oil pipeline.
Malik Salimgereyev, director of industry development at the Kazakh Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, said the KCTS would help his country expand its export markets.
"Kazakhstan is interested in using the existing export infrastructure, if necessary, participating in the expansion and creation of new export capacities in the territory of the Azerbaijan republic," he told the Trend news agency.
The presidents of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are expected to discuss the implementation of the KCTS system at a September meeting in Baku.
KCTS will transport as much as 500,000 barrels of oil per day, though plans call for an eventual increase to 1.8 bpd.