CENN – May 27, 2005 Daily Digest

CENN – MAY 27, 2005 Daily Digest

Table of Contents:

1. BTC Benefits Region
2. Ilham Aliyev Hails BTC Project
3. First section of U.S.-backed Caspian Sea Pipeline Opens
4. US-backed BTC Pipeline Fruit of “Deal of the Century”
5. U.S. Energy Secretary Hails New <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns =
“urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”
/>Azerbaijan-to-Turkey Pipeline
6. BTC Linefill in Limelight of Turkish Media
7. Baku-Ceyhan Is Ready To Transport Oil
8. “Noiseless Diplomacy”: USA is Quietly Building a Corridor from
the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea
9. U.S. Department of State Hails Launch of BTC
10. Giant Caspian Sea Oil Pipeline Opens
11. Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey Pipeline Inaugurated
12. Officials Inaugurate Pipeline to Ship Caspian Sea Oil to –
Mediterranean
13. The New Transcaucasian Pipeline to Transport “Color Revolutions”
Further Eastward
14. Q&A: The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline
15. Legend Becomes Reality: BTC Receives First Oil
16. President: Baku-Novorossiysk Pipeline not Economically Viable
17. Caspian-Mediterranean Oil Pipeline Launched In Baku
18. Human Rights Watch Letter to President Ilham Aliev
19. Symposium on Sustainable Use of Living Organisms
20. “Walk Around Georgia – Discovery and Take Care”

1. BTC benefits region

Source: Rustavi2, May 25, 2005

President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili has delivered a speech at
the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline inauguration.

Mr. President spoke about the importance of the BTC project and the
increase of the roles of the project member states in the whole
region.

Mikheil Saakashvili stated, “The opening of this pipeline represents
far more than an increase in the energy flows. It represents a public
private partnership that benefits all of our citizens. It represents
an international cooperation that benefits all of our countries.”

“We are proud of our role as a transit country of this unprecedented
venture. For centuries Georgia was stand at the crossroad of the
great empires, the place were the Europe, the Asia and the Middle
East meet,” said Mr. President.

2. Ilham Aliyev hails BTC project

Source: Rustavi2, May 25, 2005

President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev has said the potential of
Azerbaijan oil needed construction of a new pipeline, in which some
did not believe and some wanted to halt the process, but in vain.

Ilham Aliyev spoke about this at the ceremony of opening
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, which took place at the
Sangachal oil terminal in Baku on Wednesday, May 25, 2005.

“I believe the realization of BTC project will bring great success to
Azerbaijan, as well as to the other countries participating in it,”
said Mr. President adding the pipeline would certainly strengthen
energetic independence of the region.

“This day has proved that the signing of the Century Project was a
right decision taken by Azeri government,” stated Ilham Aliyev and
especially thanked the United States’ government for its assistance
and particular attention to the project. “Without the US support, we
would not be able to realize our plans,” concluded Mr. Aliyev.

The presidents from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Turkey opened
the taps for the first drops of oil to get through the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

The pipeline from the Azeri capital to the Turkish Mediterranean port
of Ceyhan is seen as a significant move towards reducing the West’s
dependence on Middle Eastern oil. Most Caspian oil exports previously
have moved through Russian pipelines.

The $3.2 billion project, with a capacity of one million barrels a
day, is the first direct oil link between the landlocked Caspian,
which is thought to contain the world’s third-largest oil and gas
reserves, and the Mediterranean.

Pipeline officials said it would take up to a month and a half to
fill the Azerbaijani section of the pipeline.

The Georgian part will be ready after that, and then the Turkish
stretch, which Turkish authorities have said should be filled by 15
August.

It will take about 10 million barrels of crude to fill the entire
pipeline.

3. First section of U.S.-backed Caspian Sea pipeline opens

Source: AP, May 25, 2005

With speeches and a letter from President George W. Bush, officials
today opened the first section of a 1,100-mile pipeline that will
carry Caspian Sea oil to Western markets, a project seen as an
economic and political boon for the troubled Caucasus region.

The $3.2 billion U.S.-backed project also realizes several crucial
goals for Washington, including reducing dependence on Middle Eastern
oil and the need to use Russian pipelines to ship oil westward.

The presidents of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Turkey were on
hand for the ceremony at the Sangachal oil terminal, about 25 miles
south of Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku.

Beginning in Azerbaijan – a mostly Muslim country and a U.S. ally in
the war on terrorism with troops in Iraq – the underground pipeline
passes through Georgia and Turkey, ending at the Mediterranean port
of Ceyhan. It avoids going through Russia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq and
Syria on its way to the Mediterranean.

The Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, with a capacity of 1 million barrels per
day, “will take new supplies of oil to the world market and will help
to demonstrate that security is best achieved by having multiple
sources of supply and trade routes,” BP PLC Chief Executive Officer
John Brown, whose company leads the consortium that built the
pipeline, said at the ceremony.

It is the first direct oil link between the landlocked Caspian, which
is thought to contain the world’s third-largest oil and gas reserves,
and the Mediterranean.

The pipeline “opens a new era in the Caspian Basin’s development,”
Bush said in a letter read by Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman. Bush,
whose administration is seeking to diversify energy sources, called
it a “monumental achievement.”

“The United States has consistently supported” the pipeline “because
we believe in the project’s ability to bolster energy security,
strengthen participating countries’ energy diversity, enhance
regional cooperation and expand international investment
opportunities,” Bush’s letter said.

4. US-backed BTC pipeline fruit of “deal of the century”

Source: Baku Today, May 25, 2005

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline launched here Wednesday on May
25, 2005 is a four-billion-dollar US-backed oil transport route
stretching 1,770 kilometers (1,094 miles) from the Caspian Sea to the
Mediterranean Sea, tackling an altitude of 2,800 meters (8,400 feet)
at its highest point.

Built with financial support from the United States, the pipeline was
initiated in 1994 under the late Azeri president, Heydar Aliyev, as
part of Azerbaijan’s so-called “deal of the century” — a massive oil
contract signed in the early 1990s to develop Caspian Sea oil.

Azerbaijan was Russia’s main source of fuel during the World War II
years, but the massive 1994 contract opened the country’s
considerable oil reserves to the outside world with 33 foreign oil
companies operating here today.

British energy giant BP holds a leading 30 percent stake in the
consortium running the pipeline. Other consortium members include
Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR, Amerada Hess, ConocoPhillips,
Eni, Inpex, Itochu, Statoil,

Total, TPAO and Unocal.

Some argue the project has more geopolitical significance than
economic importance. The pipeline gives Caspian oil producers
independent export routes sidelining traditional paths through Russia
without increasing world oil supplies substantially.

The project was 70% financed by US and Japanese government banks, the
World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development,
while 30% of the funds came from the consortium members themselves.

The pipeline is to ship one million barrels of Caspian oil daily,
roughly one percent of global oil production, once it is fully up and
running by the end of the year.

Annual delivery will equal one million barrels per day, or 50 million
tonnes of oil, compared with daily global consumption which is
expected to hit an average 84 million barrels per day this year.

The oil will travel at two meters per second thanks to eight pumping
stations along the route of the pipeline, whose capacities could be
expanded with additional investment.

Avoiding a shorter path through Armenia, which is in a state of war
with Azerbaijan and under economic blockade from Turkey, the pipeline
lies across 445 kilometers of Azerbaijan, 245 kilometers of Georgia
and 1,070 kilometers of Turkey.

The pipeline’s path straddles three unstable separatist regions in
Azerbaijan and Georgia making security, which is handled by each
participating country with assistance from the United States, a top
priority.

There is a proposal to extend the pipeline to Kazakhstan’s Caspian
port of Aktau, a plan Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev
appeared to endorse on Tuesday.

The “South Caucasus Project,” a gas pipeline traveling parallel to
the BTC, is currently under construction and is expected to be opened
in 2006.

It diverges to the Turkish city of Erzerum where it will join the
existing European gas network.

BP estimates the BTC will bring Azerbaijan 100 billion dollars of oil
revenues over the next 30 years, on the basis of an average oil price
of 30 dollars per barrel.

5. U.S. Energy Secretary Hails New Azerbaijan-to-Turkey
Pipeline

Source: USINFO, May 25, 2005

Bodman says pipeline strengthens both global and regional energy
security

U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman represented the United States
at ceremonies in Baku, Azerbaijan, May 25, 2005 to open the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, which will be able to transport 1
million barrels of oil per day from Azerbaijan through Georgia to
Turkey, and on onward to world markets, when fully operational.

“The BTC pipeline’s completion means that a more Caspian oil can
reach global markets faster, and in a commercially viable and
environmentally safe manner,” Bodman said. “The BTC pipeline
strengthens both global and regional energy security by increasing
the flow of oil to market.”

While in Baku, Bodman will also hold bilateral energy discussions
with leaders and other officials from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan
and Turkey.

This is the second stop in a three-nation trip that also includes
Russia and Ukraine. Bodman is holding discussions on a variety of
energy and nuclear safety issues, including encouraging the
development of diverse energy resources, promoting market
transparency and investment, and advancing nuclear nonproliferation.

The full text of Bodman’s remarks at the pipeline opening ceremonies
is available on the Department of Energy’s Web site.

6. BTC LINEFILL IN LIMELIGHT OF TURKISH MEDIA

Source: State Telegraphic Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan,
Azertag, May 25, 2005

Turkish media spotlighted the inauguration of the Heydar Aliyev
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Main Export Pipeline on May 25, 2005. Front-page
headlines of Turkey’s largest circulation newspapers “Hurriyet”,
“Zaman”, “Turkiye”, “Milliyet”, “Vatan”, “Star”, “Aksham” were
devoted to this event.

TV channels “TRT”, “Samanyolu”, “NTV” telecast documentaries and
programs narrating on the Heydar Aliyev Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Main
Export Pipeline. Turkish media once more paid tribute to initiator of
this project, great son of the Turkic world, nationwide leader of
Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev. According to the Turkish media,
commissioning of BTC is a result of Heydar Aliyev’s persistence,
foresight and political talent and President Ilham Aliyev
successfully continues these large-scale works for the sake of
progress of Azerbaijan. BTC will not only promote welfare of peoples
of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia but also ensure peace and stability
in the region as a whole.

7. Baku-Ceyhan Is Ready To Transport Oil

Source: Neftegaz.ru, May 25, 2005

The pipeline which passes through Georgia to the Turkish port of
Ceyhan is to open today, and the ceremony will be held in Azerbaijan.

The $3.6bn pipeline of 1600 km length has been built by a consortium
of oil companies led by BP. It has been constructed more than 10
years.

The oil will come on shore from the Caspian Sea. The pipeline will
carry up to a million barrels a day to west, gushing underneath miles
of rugged terrain.

8. “Noiseless diplomacy”: USA is quietly building a corridor
from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea

Source: PRAVDA.Ru, May 26, 2005

The deployment of U.S. mobile forces in Azerbaijan was agreed back in
April. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev is going to sign an
important political document during his two-day state visit to
Azerbaijan. The document is a declaration of support for a
transportation corridor East – West. Besides, Mr. Nazarbayev is also
going to sign the agreement on the integration of Kazakhstan into the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) export oil pipeline project.

The visit of President Nursultan Nazarbayev to Baku is his first
during the presidency of Ilham Aliev. The drafts of documents which
have strategic importance to both countries have been polished off by
the joint Azeri-Kazakh intergovernmental commission on economic
cooperation for nearly a year. Issues relating to the export of
Kazakh oil via the BTC pipeline are on top of the agenda.

According to a source in the State Petroleum Company of Azerbaijan,
Kazakhstan is initially expected to pump 7.6 million tons of oil
using the Baku pipeline. Within the next few years, Kazakhstan is
planning to increase its oil exports up to 20 million tons per year.
For the time being, tankers will be delivering oil from the Kazakh
port of Aktau to the Azeri oil terminal in Sangachal. A pipeline
connecting the eastern and western coasts of the Caspian should be
laid across the seabed by the time when the Kazakh oil field Kashagan
starts producing its first oil.

Many Azeri analysts believe that Mr. Nazarbayev’s visit to Baku and
the documents which will be signed during the visit aim to create of
a new geopolitical axis East-West which is to be built without
Russia’s participation. Economic cooperation officially lays the
groundwork for the axis. The key members of a new alliance include
Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and the United States. The
Baku declaration reflects cooperation between the above. The
declaration also has a military and political component.

The Baku oil pipeline project kicked off under the auspices of the
United States. Following tomorrow’s ceremony in Sangachal, the
prospects for American military presence in the region stretching
from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea will be no longer “doubtful.”
They will be a reality Russia is extremely unhappy about.

As it turned out, there are concrete plans behind the prospects.
According to the Azeri media, during a “quite and publicity-free”
visit of U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to Baku in April,
Mr. Rumsfeld and his Azeri counterpart agreed on all details
pertaining to an agreement on the deployment of U.S. armed forces in
Azerbaijan. The publications on the subject are based on data
collected by Stratfor, an American-Israeli Center of Strategic
Forecasts. During the first stage of deployment, U.S. military will
be technically called “the mobile forces temporarily deployed in
Azerbaijan.” The American troops are expected to be deployed at three
local air bases whose airways were already modernized in compliance
with NATO standards. Now the airways can be used by aircraft of any
type.

According to Stratfor, the American military bases in Azerbaijan will
be small and their personnel will be subject to replacement
“depending on U.S. military requirements in the region.” Experts of
the center believe that U.S. forces in Azerbaijan can be quickly
re-deployed to another area and will take care of a number of
missions of strategic importance.

The export oil pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan is of strategic
importance to the West. Guarding the pipeline will be one of the
missions for the American military. NG already reported that U.S.
military command in Europe was setting up a special task force dubbed
Caspian Guard. The task force will provide security to BTC and other
Caspian oil and gas pipelines. The unit will be composed of U.S.
mobile forces and military personnel of other countries taking part
in the above energy projects. If the reports are confirmed, by all
appearances “the U.S. is poised to significantly strengthen its
control over the energy resources and priorities in the Caspian,”
says Stratfor. The first practical steps in that direction have been
already taken. Citing a source in the Azeri military, NG previously
reported on a few dozen American military instructors that were
already working in Azerbaijan. They are reportedly keeping a very low
profile.

Predictably enough, the Azeri authorities plainly deny all the
reports on any arrangements between Baku and Washington regarding the
deployment of American troops in Azerbaijan. “This is false
information, there is nothing of the kind,” said Ramiz Melikov, head
of press service of the Azeri Defense Ministry last Saturday. A
similar situation took place in the neighboring Georgia three years
ago. Just a few hours before the arrival of first group of U.S.
military instructors to Georgia, the officials’ at the most high
level kept denying the media reports on the subject by calling them
“lies and allegations fabricated by the enemies of the Georgian
people.”

Azerbaijan is apparently moving in the same direction. Though its
objectives lie well beyond the NATO military cooperation program
“Partnership in the name of peace.”

Turkey, America’s ally in the alliance will supervise reforms in the
Azeri armed forces. Thus, the Pentagon is beginning to build its own
corridor stretching from the Black Sea to the Caspian. The corridor
is hardly for transportation purposes. USA already holds sway over
the large area east of the Caspian thanks to its “antiterrorist” air
bases in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. With Kazakhstan as one of the
signatories of the Baku declaration, the Americans will gain control
over a virtually limitless area provided that Astana is eventually
enticed into getting not only economic but also military support from
the U.S. The press service of the Kazakh Defense Ministry
categorically refused to comment on the issue.

9. U.S. Department of State Hails Launch of BTC

Source: Civil Georgia, May 26, 2005

In a statement issued on May 25, 2005 the U.S. Department of State
welcomed the launch of pumping oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
(BTC) oil pipeline as “a major success for the U.S. goal of enhancing
and diversifying global energy supplies.”

“The BTC pipeline will reinforce the sovereignty and prosperity of
Azerbaijan and Georgia. BTC will further integrate Azerbaijan and
Georgia into the international free market economy and promote their
development, while advancing our shared goal of developing multiple
oil and gas export routes. The BTC pipeline will also enhance
Turkey’s emerging role as an energy transportation hub and help
reduce oil tanker traffic congestion in the Bosporus and Dardanelles
straits,” the statement reads.

[!cid:[email protected]]

[!cid:[email protected]]

10. Giant Caspian sea oil pipeline opens

$4 billion East-West Energy Bridge weakens Russia and OPEC’s grip on
light crude

Source; Agence France Presse (AFP), May 26, 2005

A major new U.S.-backed pipeline to bring oil directly from the
Caspian Sea to Western markets and break Russia’s longtime grip on
vast energy resources from Central Asia to Turkey was formally
launched Wednesday in a ceremony attended by presidents and
dignitaries.

Equally important for a western consumer of oil is the fact that the
pipeline offers the west a huge supply of oil that it not under the
control of Russian or OPEC. At the same time the Caspian produces
much in demand light crude.

“Some did not believe in the realization of this project, some tried
to disrupt it, but the support of the United States and the activity
of BP helped realize the project,” Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said
at the ceremony to inaugurate the $4 billion initiative.

The presidents of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan were
joined by other VIPs including U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman
and the head of British energy giant BP, John Browne, for the formal
launch of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special representative for
international energy cooperation, Igor Yusufov, had been expected to
attend the event. A Kremlin spokesman told AFP in Moscow that he was
forced to cancel his planned trip to Baku at the last minute due to
illness.

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a declaration
committing some of his country’s vast Caspian oil reserves to
transport through the pipeline just prior to the ceremony extending
the BTC’s life expectancy past 2010, when Azeri oil production is
expected to slump.

“The East-West energy corridor plays an important security role in
the region and it’s clear that economic growth and stability would
not be possible without the export of oil,” Turkey’s President Ahmet
Necdetsezer said at the opening.

He said the pipeline would take pressure off Turkey’s tanker-clogged
Bosphorus Straits that link the Black Sea to the Mediterranean,
another major maritime transport route for oil.

Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili stressed the geopolitical
changes afoot in the region after the fall of the Soviet Union.

“After the fall of a big empire we want sources of hydrocarbons to be
protected and provide for stability of their transport,” he said.

The 1,770-kilometer-long pipeline will transform the Caucasus and
Turkey into an energy bridge between the Caspian and the rest of the
world and has shifted geo-strategic alliances in the Caucasus region
and Central Asia.

But the presence of senior officials from the United States and other
countries at Wednesday’s ceremonies was tainted by a controversy as
Azeri authorities continued to hold opposition members detained in
connection with the pipeline’s opening.

Authorities justified their actions on grounds that the rally was
held too close to the pipeline opening ceremonies, a claim that was
questioned by Western officials.

The British oil giant BP holds a leading 30 percent stake in the
consortium running the pipeline. Other consortium members include
Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR, Amerada Hess, ConocoPhillips,
Eni, Inpex, Itochu, Statoil, Total, TPAO and Unocal.

SOCAR president Natik Aliyev called the pipeline, which is expected
to become a major competitor to traditional export routes for Caspian
oil that pass through Russia, the “realization” of a national dream
on Wednesday.

He said it “bridged the nations of the region. “The pipeline is to
ship one million barrels of Caspian oil, roughly one percent of
global oil production, daily to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast once it
is fully up and running by the end of the year.

11. AZERBAIJAN-GEORGIA-TURKEY PIPELINE INAUGURATED

Source: RFE/RL Newsline, May 26, 2005

The first Azerbaijani Caspian crude was pumped into the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil export pipeline on 25 May, 2005 at the
Sangachal terminal south of Baku, international agencies reported.
The presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Kazakhstan attended
the ceremony, together with U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman. The
former presidents of Georgia and Turkey, Eduard Shevardnadze and
Suleyman Demirel, who first proposed in 1994 that the export pipeline
for Caspian oil be routed via Georgia, were not present, and Russian
presidential envoy for international energy issues Igor Yusupov cried
off due to ill health, according to Interfax on May 25, 2005.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev recalled that many skeptics
doubted the pipeline would ever become a reality, Interfax and
rustavi2.com reported. He said it will help to solve economic and
social problems in the region and to strengthen security. Georgian
President Mikheil Saakashvili lauded the pipeline project as an
example of successful international cooperation, and predicted it
will bring wealth to the three countries involved.

12. Officials inaugurate pipeline to ship Caspian Sea oil to –
Mediterranean

Source: The Associated Press, May 26, 2005

Sangachal, Azerbaijan — The presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia and
Turkey turned on the taps Wednesday to send the first drops of
Caspian oil into a pipeline seen as key to reducing the West’s
reliance on Middle East oil.

Standing in front of a transparent section of pipe, each pulled an
orange lever in succession, allowing oil to fill up the pipeline.

The U.S.-backed pipeline realizes several crucial goals for
Washington, including reducing dependence on Russian pipelines and
avoiding Iran. While the pipeline crosses areas plagued by separatist
conflicts, raising security concerns, the countries hope it will be a
catalyst for calm and prosperity as well.

The pipeline “will take new supplies of oil to the world market and
will help to demonstrate that security is best achieved by having
multiple sources of supply and trade routes,” BP PLC Chief Executive
John Brown, whose company leads the consortium that built the
pipeline, said at the opening ceremony.

Known as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, or BTC pipeline, the $3.2 billion
project aims to boost the energy-hungry West’s access to the rich
Caspian fields, estimated to hold the world’s third-largest reserves.
Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan all claim
shares of the Caspian’s undersea wealth.

The pipeline “can be called the Silk Road of the 21st century,”
said Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

President Bush, whose administration is seeking to diversify energy
sources, said in a letter read by U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman
that the pipeline “opens a new era in the Caspian Basin’s
development.”

“The United States has consistently supported (the pipeline project)
because we believe in the project’s ability to bolster energy
security, strengthen participating countries’ energy diversity,
enhance regional cooperation and expand international investment
opportunities,” the letter said.

But the plan to circumvent Russian pipelines angered the Kremlin.
Most Caspian oil exports currently go through Russian pipelines to
the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, where the oil is loaded onto
tankers that squeeze through the heavy-traffic Bosporus. Russian
officials tried to persuade Azerbaijan not to sign on to the project.

Instead, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey look to earn substantial
revenue from the pipeline, through transit fees and royalties.

“This pipeline first of all will help solve economic and social
problems, but the role of the pipeline in strengthening peace and
security in the region also is not small,” Azerbaijan’s President
Ilham Aliev said at the ceremony.

The pipeline’s route through Georgia does not pass near the two
separatist areas in the north of that country, but does traverse
comparatively wild areas in the nation where security is fragile.
Some of its stretch in Turkey goes through conflict-prone Kurdish
areas.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who has sought to lessen
Russia’s influence on his small, impoverished country, suggested that
the pipeline, by spurring investment, could undermine that influence.

“Because of our geographical position, we’ve been in the center of
attention for various empires,” he said in apparent reference to
Russia. “However, today Georgia is changing into a place where the
largest energy companies in the world are trying to make
investments.”

The drive for alternatives to Middle East oil intensified after the
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks highlighted potential regional
instability.

Once fully operational, the pipeline will represent a “significant”
addition to Western oil supplies, said analyst Jason Kenney of ING
Financial Markets, although because of the time needed to fill it,
“you won’t see exports until the later part of the year.”

Other experts say the new oil will provide only short-term relief to
a world that is consuming more crude every year. Oil prices, while
down from their recent highs, are still around $50 a barrel.

Pipeline officials said it would take up to a month and a half to
fill the Azerbaijani section. The Georgian part will be ready after
that, and then the Turkish stretch, which Turkish authorities have
said should be filled by Aug. 15.

It will take approximately 10 million barrels of crude to fill the
entire pipeline. Bodman said Tuesday that deliveries of oil to
tankers at the terminal in Turkey are to begin in the fall.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material
may not be published, broadcast, or redistributed.

13. The new Transcaucasian pipeline to transport “color
revolutions” further eastward

The official opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Oil Pipeline,
destined to transport Caspian oil to the West, had a place on
Wednesday in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Source: EINNews, May 26, 2005

This event will put an end to a decade of political struggle around
this pipeline. Besides this inauguration means that the states of
Caucasus and Central Asia are entering into the period of a serious
change, which can bring another wave of “color revolutions”, writes
Kommersant daily. Four presidents took part in the ceremony. The
Turkish leader Ahmet Necdet Sezer was the only guest who had taken
part in the ceremony of inauguration three years ago. The
Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev made a historic
statement: Astana is connecting to the BTC pipeline. So far
Kazakhstan had the agreement with Azerbaijan about pumping 20 million
metric tons through the pipeline. But the annual throughput capacity
of BTC is estimated 85 million metric ton. Since the oil extraction
in Azerbaijan is expected to decrease in the nearest future,
Kazakhstan’s joining the project has become necessary, if only to
recompense the costs of the construction of the pipeline. Nursultan
Nazarbayev promised that his country would step up oil output up to
100 million metric tons by 2010, and to 150 million by 2015.

The most cheerful guest on the inauguration ceremony was the Georian
president Mikhail Saakashvili. He uttered that the BTC pipeline would
make “the whole region, including Georgia, entirely independent”.

The commercial functioning of the pipeline will begin by the end of
this year; in the nearest months it will be filled with oil. From now
on the Caspian nations are directly linked to the West-centered
world-economy. The oil which will be pumped through the BTC pipeline
is being extracted by the Western oil giants. The commander-in-chief
of the U.S. forces in Europe, general James Johns has already
disclosed the U.S. plans to deploy the so-called “Caspian Guard”
along the pipeline.

As the oil flows westward, the spirit of the “color revolutions”, the
series of coups d’etat installing staunchly pro-Western puppet
regimes, will penetrate further eastward. And the most probable
targets are Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

14. Q&A: The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline

Source: The Guardian, May 26, 2005

The first stage of a contentious oil pipeline running from the
Caspian sea through Georgia to the Mediterranean has been opened.
Mark Tran explains.

Where is the pipeline?

Once completed, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline will run 1,100
miles, from the Sangachal terminal near Baku, the capital of
Azerbaijan, through Georgia and to the Turkish Mediterranean port of
Ceyhan.

How much oil will it carry?

The pipeline will carry 1m barrels a day from the Caspian sea, which
contains the world’s third-largest oil and gas reserves. A total of
10m barrels of crude oil is required to fill it. Estimates put
reserves in the region at 33bn barrels, compared with around 715bn
barrels in the Persian Gulf. Caspian production amounts to around 2m
barrels a day – roughly the same as Iraq.

How much did it cost?

The $3.2bn (£1.74bn) pipeline, the largest private construction
project in the world, is part of a $20bn series of energy
developments to produce and transport oil and gas from the landlocked
Caspian. The British oil giant BP is the leading company in the
consortium, which also includes the US firms Unocal and
ConocoPhillips.

Why is the pipeline significant?

The US favoured the pipeline on the grounds that it would lessen
western dependence on Middle East oil and Russian pipelines, as well
as well as avoiding Iran. While the pipeline crosses areas plagued by
separatist conflicts, the countries involved hope it will bring
economic benefits and enhance political stability.

How much Caspian Sea oil goes through Russia?

Most Caspian oil exports currently go through Russian pipelines to
the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, where the oil is loaded onto
tankers that squeeze through the very busy Bosporus. Russian
officials tried to persuade Azerbaijan not to sign on to the project.

What regional impact will the pipeline have?

Azerbaijan is banking on it to raise its profile in the world and to
bolster international support for Baku in its dispute with Armenia
over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, which was taken over by ethnic
Armenian separatists more than a decade ago. The conflict continues
to simmer, undermining the region’s security. Meanwhile, Georgia –
which has troubled relations with Russia – sees the pipeline as a way
of lessening its dependence on Russian energy supplies.

Who stands to benefit economically?

Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey stand to earn substantial revenue
through transit fees and royalties. BP says the major oil and gas
fields and pipelines will provide revenues of more than $150bn to
Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey between 2005 and 2024. The European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development has forecast that
Azerbaijan’s economy will grow by more than one fifth this year,
while oil revenues will swell government coffers by $50bn. Turkey
says the pipeline could be the “Silk Road of the 21st century”, and
BP describes the Caspian as one of its major new profit centres.

Is anyone opposed to the project?

Environmental and human rights groups have criticized the scheme. The
Kurdish Human Rights Project and Friends of the Earth, amongst
others, are particularly critical of Botas, the nationalised Turkish
pipeline company, which is carrying out the construction work in
Turkey.

Botas has been accused of offering far less compensation to
landowners than promised, and NGOs say there have been cases of
landowners being threatened for refusing to accept offers of
compensation. They also allege that Ferhat Kaya, a human rights
activist, was beaten up and tortured last year as a direct result of
his work on cases of abuses related to land expropriation in Turkey.

Is there a terrorist threat?

Because of the separatist conflicts in the region, terrorism cannot
be discounted, but the pipeline is specifically designed to thwart
such attacks. It is completely buried along its path through
Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The pipeline passes within a few
miles of Nagorno-Karabakh, and critics have suggested it could be
vulnerable to terrorist attacks at various points. The James Bond
film The World is Not Enough featured a terrorist threat against the
pipeline.

What about environmental concerns?

Some engineers who worked on the project claim there were
insufficient checks on the risk of the pipe buckling in earthquake
zones. Another concern cited by the Baku Ceyhan Campaign, a group
opposing the pipeline, is the effectiveness of the coating designed
to protect the pipe from corrosion. Any leakage in Georgia could
affect the mineral water aquifer at Borjorni national park. Borjorni
water is a major Georgian export.

What does BP say?

BP says it has set out to “raise the bar” and establish a new
international benchmark in human rights and environmental standards
on the project. The new benchmark, it says, extends to such diverse
areas as leak detection, land acquisition, biodiversity and community
investment. The company also says the pipeline is to be buried for
its entire route, meaning nobody would be permanently displaced from
their home.

15. Legend becomes reality: BTC receives first oil

Source: AssA-Irada, May 26, 2005

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) main export oil pipeline named after
Heydar Aliyev was launched on Wednesday, a remarkable day in
Azerbaijan’s history.

The ceremony of pumping first oil into the pipeline held at the
Sangachal Terminal, 42 km from Baku, was attended by Azerbaijani,
Turkish, Kazakh and Georgian presidents, as well as US Secretary of
Energy Samuel Bodman, member of the British Royal Family, Duke of
York Andrew Albert Christian Edward and President of BP Company, the
project operator, John Brown.

Also attending the event were representatives of the companies
participating in the BTC and Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli project on
developing major Azerbaijani fields.

Addressing the ceremony, President Ilham Aliyev said that despite
pressures, deliberate obstacles and difficulties, Azerbaijan and
partner countries successfully completed the construction of the BTC
pipe, which is of great importance for Azerbaijan, although its oil
is currently being exported through several other routes, Aliyev
said.

President Aliyev said that the BTC pipeline project would not have
become a reality without the United States’ support for its
implementation. The BTC operation will also greatly benefit the
neighboring countries and the entire region.

“There are threats in the region. One of them is Armenia’s aggression
against Azerbaijan, which resulted in the occupation of 20% of the
country’s territory and rendered more than one million refugees and
internally displaced persons. We are confident that we will restore
justice by all means. The territorial integrity and sovereignty of
Azerbaijan will be restored.”

Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said the BTC pipeline is of
great importance for Turkey as well and it will increase the
international importance of the Ceyhan port.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said realization of the BTC
pipeline project will enable regional countries to carry out other
activities.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said that although Kazakhstan
exports oil via different pipelines, the BTC pipe is a priority route
for this country.

US Energy Minister Samuel Bordman read out President Bush’s letter
congratulating the Azerbaijani people and President.

“Azerbaijan’s friends in the United States, Europe and beyond
celebrate this monumental achievement with you. BTC opens a new era
in the Caspian Basin’s development. It ensures Caspian oil will reach
European and other markets in a commercially viable and
environmentally sound way.”

Letters of congratulation from the French President Jacques Chirac,
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushshenko, British Prime Minister Tony
Blair, and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi were presented as
well.

In conclusion, a Baku declaration on expanding the East-West energy
transport corridor was signed by Azerbaijani and Georgian foreign
ministers, Turkish and Kazakh energy ministers and US Energy
Secretary.

Azerbaijani, Turkish and Georgian presidents then signed a joint
communiqu&#1081; on building the Gars-Akhalkalaki-Baku railway.

The long-term talks, held between the governments of Azerbaijan and
Kazakhstan over stepping up the efficiency of the BTC pipeline, have
resulted in extending the route of the BTC project.

Following the talks between the Kazakh and Azerbaijani presidents, an
agreement on transportation of Caspian oil through the
Aktau-Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan route was signed.

Oil transportation via the BTC pipeline is expected to bring revenues
worth some $100 billion to Azerbaijan over the next 20 years.
According to official reports, the oil pumped from the Sangachal
Terminal into the BTC pipeline will reach the Ceyhan port of Turkey
in about 5 months.

The Georgian section of the pipeline is to be ready to receive the
BTC oil by the end of July, while the Turkish section – before August
15, 2005.

443 km of the 1,762km-long pipeline goes through Azerbaijan, 249 km
via Georgia and 1,070 km through Turkey. The annual oil
transportation capacity of the pipeline is 50-55 million tons or 1
million barrels per day. Turkey will receive $200 million, while
Georgia $60-70 million per year from the transportation of the BTC
oil.

16. President: Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline not economically
viable

Source: AssA-Irada, May 26, 2005

The Baku-Novorossiysk northern pipeline does not withstand
competition of the Baku-Supsa western and especially the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export pipelines, President Ilham Aliyev
told a news conference held for foreign journalists on Tuesday.

The President mentioned that the tariff for transporting a ton of oil
through the northern pipe is $15.64, compared to $3 for the
Baku-Supsa pipeline. The high-quality Azeri oil is mixed with the
Ural brand in the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline, while Azeri Light,
which is of even higher quality than Brent, is transported through
the Baku-Supsa route.

Aliyev said that Azerbaijan loses considerable revenues due to the
mixing of Azeri Light with the Ural brand.

“Nonetheless, we have not halted the operation of the
Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline and believe that if Transneft [Russian oil
company] makes changes to the tariffs, this pipeline may become
economically viable. I hope we will continue transporting the Baku
oil through this pipeline.”

17. Caspian-Mediterranean Oil Pipeline Launched In Baku

Source: RFE/RL, May 26, 2005

The 1,760-kilometer Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline to transport crude
oil extracted from the Caspian Sea shelf to the Mediterranean Sea
basin was inaugurated today near Azerbaijan’s capital Baku.

The leaders of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Kazakhstan joined oil
executives from nearly 40 countries at the opening ceremony for the
line, which bypasses Russia.

Addressing world energy executives at the Sangacal oil terminal, some
40 kilometers south of Baku, the Azerbaijani, Turkish, Georgian, and
Kazakh leaders spoke with one voice to underline the importance of
the new transport route.

Azerbaijan’s main oil-export conduit will connect Baku to the Turkish
Mediterranean port of Ceyhan via the Georgian capital Tbilisi. It
will be coupled with a natural-gas-export pipeline linking Baku,
Tbilisi, and Turkey’s eastern Anatolian city of Erzurum in 2006.

Construction of the U.S.-sponsored Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC)
started in 2001, and its final cost totaled well over the $3 billion
originally planned.

Presidents Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia and Heidar Aliyev of
Azerbaijan were the two main regional architects of the BTC.

Yet neither of the two leaders attended today’s ceremony.
Shevardnadze was deposed by peaceful opposition-led street protests
in November 2003, and Heidar Aliyev — after whom the Azerbaijani
section of the BTC was renamed — died nearly two years ago to be
succeeded by his son, Ilham.

Addressing reporters in Baku yesterday, Georgian President Mikheil
Saakashvili said both the BTC and its sister gas pipeline were of
utmost importance for his country — which until now has been heavily
dependent on Russia for its energy supplies.

“In practical terms, [BTC] and the [Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum] gas
pipeline are extremely important projects for Georgia,” Saakashvili
said. “When the gas pipeline is launched, the issue of Georgia’s
energy independence will be finally solved. Georgia will no longer
depend on a single source for its energy supplies. This is the most
important guarantor of our energy independence.”

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in turn thanked Azerbaijan’s
neighbors for contributing to making the immense project a reality.

“[It is the input of] regional cooperation and mutual understanding
that made this seemingly unrealistic project — the world’s largest
energy project, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline — come into life,”
Aliyev said.

Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said today that he is confident
the new pipeline will bring stability and economic gains to the
entire Southern Caucasus region.

“The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which is the most important
element of the East-West transport corridor — also known as the Silk
Road of the 21st century — makes an important contribution in
enhancing the stability and economic well-being of the entire
region,” Sezer said.

The BTC stretches 1,760 kilometers, including 440 kilometers through
Azerbaijan and 250 kilometers through Georgia. The pipeline is
designed to carry oil extracted from Azerbaijan’s sector of the
Caspian Sea by a BP-led international consortium comprising 11
companies.

It will take several months to fill the conduit.

Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler told the
Anadolu news agency today that the first barrel of oil will not reach
its final destination until September.

BTC will be running at full capacity only in 2009, when production
reaches its peak in Azerbaijan. The pipeline will then carry an
expected 1 million barrels of oil per day.

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbaev announced plans yesterday
to export part of its production through BTC under a scheme that
would involve the construction of an underwater pipeline linking the
Kazakh city port of Aktau to Baku.

Aliyev’s chief of staff Ramiz Mehdiyev said today that experts are
still working on a final document that should seal Kazakhstan’s
participation in the project.

Also today, the presidents of Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Georgia signed
a joint declaration reaffirming their commitment to build a railway
connection between the Turkish city of Kars, near the Armenian
border, and Baku.

The line will go through Georgia’s predominantly Armenian region of
Samtskhe-Javakheti, and then on to Tbilisi.

18. Human Rights Watch letter to President Ilham Aliev

Dear CENN Readres,

Authorities in Baku banned an opposition rally on May 21, 2005
several days in advance of the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil
pipeline, and beat and detained those gathering for it.

Please find the attached file Human Rights Watch letter to President
Ilham Aliev expressing concern about this restriction on freedom of
assembly and its significance for autumn elections.

19. Symposium on sustainable use of living organisms

Dear friends,

Several years ago, sustainable use of living organisms was envisioned
as the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation efforts particularly
in developing countries where conservation needed to be balanced with
the livelihood needs of forest-dependent people (see for example,
Peters et al. 1989; Panayatou & Ashton 1992). However, even after two
decades of experimentation, sustainable use as a conservation concept
remains largely in the conceptual domain, with very few demonstrably
successful on-field examples. Apart from a few scattered examples,
there has been little practical contouring of the process by which
sustainable use of plants and animals can be operationalized.
Further, in most cases of overtly sustainable use (such as the Joint
Forest Management scheme in India and Community Forest Management in
Nepal), the benefits to long-term biodiversity conservation has
remained largely unquantified due to lack of systematic ecological
monitoring.

The symposium will attempt to take the thinking on sustainable use
forward in a constructive way, by evaluating the stumbling blocks in
furthering the pursuit of sustainable use goals, redefining the
research and policy agendas in this area and setting up channels for
effective exchange of information on the subject.

Specifically, the primary goals of the symposium will be:

* to evaluate the potential of sustainable use as a biodiversity
conservation tool in the context of developing economies,
particularly the ecological, legal and socio- economic contexts
in which sustainable use can be successful;
* evaluate the major hurdles to useful research and practice of
sustainable use concept;
* set out the future research agenda for furthering our knowledge
in sustainable use, particularly how to operationalize the
concept in different ecosystems and,
* encourage exchange of information amongst sustainable use
specialists from different countries, particularly in research &
monitoring techniques and on-field implementation.

I invite you to participate in this discussion on this important
conservation issue through a presentation at the upcoming conference.
If you would like to participate in this symposium, please send in a
100-word abstract of your proposed presentation to me latest by June
7, 2005. Abstracts will be carefully screened and the authors of the
selected abstracts will be informed by July 1, 2005. Abstracts should
be concerned directly with conceptualization or implementation of
sustainable use of living organisms, and based on primary or
secondary research. Socio-economic, legal or biological aspects of
sustainable use will be covered.

Details on travel and accommodation arrangements for the SCB
conference at Kathmandu can be obtained from the organizer Dr. Linda
Whittaker at [email protected]

Dr. Linda Olsvig-Whittaker

Science and Conservation Division

Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority

3 Am Ve Olamo Street, Givat Shaul

Jerusalem 95463, Israel

Telephone: 2-5005444; Fax 2-6529232

mailto:[email protected]

20. “Walk Around Georgia – Discovery and Take Care”

“Georgian Young Naturalists’ Society” Presents:

Extreme – travelling program “Walk Around Georgia – Discovery and
Take Care”

The project is presented by non-governmental organization “Georgian
Young Naturalists’ Society”. The organization is founded in 2004 and
its main goal is preservation of Georgian bio-diversity, its research
and popularization; also increasing of environmental awareness in
Georgian and assistance to the young researchers with their
scientific works.

The activities of the founders of the organization were focused on
the research of the bio-resources, historical and cultural heritage
and ethnographical characteristics of the greatest and most beautiful
region of Georgia – Khevsureti. The members of the organization have
been cooperating very closely with local people in Khevsureti during
which were and studied the characters of their habitat.

Conditionally Khevsureti region is divided into 2 parts: Eastern and
Western Khevsureti. The region has unique flora and fauna, endemic
populations and has very interesting geographical location (Alpine
and Sub-alpine zone) exciting historical monuments are spread all
over the region. Khevsureti could be considered as one of the best
region for the development of the eco-tourism.

Project will be realized in eastern and western Khevsureti.

Duration of a tour is 10 days. (for 24 persson)

Travel Tours – 2005

Tour

Dead Line

Training

Departure

Arrival

1

20 June

25 June

27 June

6 July

2

4 July

9 July

11 July

20 July

3

18 July

23 July

25 July

3 August

4

1 August

6 August

8 August

17 August

Travel conditions: live in the tents, feeding on a fresh air, and
travel by foot.

The Most Extreme and Unforgettable Travel in Your Life Don’t Loose
This Chance

“Georgian Young Naturalists’ Society”

Tbilisi, Georgia, University st. #2

tel.: + 995 99 76 12 81; +995 99 36 88 93; +995 77 79 37

E-mai: [email protected]

*******************************************
CENN INFO
Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN)

Tel: ++995 32 75 19 03/04
Fax: ++995 32 75 19 05
E-mail: [email protected]
URL:

–Boundary_(ID_k1OLTKI0hd6FhXa9Gzopnw)–

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

http://www.energy.gov
www.gyns.org.ge
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