Azerbaijan does not have Sufficient Oil for BTC Pipeline


YEREVAN, APRIL 21. ARMINFO. Ayaz Mutalibov, ex-president of
Azerbaijan, believes that Azerbaijan has no sufficient oil reserves
for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline.

In his interview to the “Vremya Novostey” newspaper, he stated that in
1990 Azerbaijan’s oil reserves were estimated as amounting to
500mln. tons. “Later, talks about billions’ began. Still later,
contracts began to fail,” Mutalibov said. He added that most oil is
now being extracted at old deposits, which were developed in Soviet
times. Moreover, if “the Iraqi floor gets re-operated, the need for
Azerbaijan’s oil will no more be urgent. So the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline
is most unlikely to be filled without Kazakhstan,” Mutalibov said. He
expressed the opinion that the project has a geopolitical component.
“Geopolicy is in getting oil resources to pass by Russia,” Mutalibov
said. He pronounced for a “delicate and balanced policy on the part of
Azerbaijan,” first of all, toward Russia. “The Azerbaijani diaspora in
Russia provides Azerbaijan with sums considerably exceeding its annual
budget. What is called strategic partnership will in fact be a search
of separating the spheres of influence between Moscow and Washington,”
Mutalibov said.