BP reported that as of August 16, 2010, Turkmen oil is being transported through Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Turkmen oil is transported via tankers to Baku and then pumped into the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. This route enables Turkmenistan to bypass Russia to sell its oil to the world markets. Konstantine Simonov, Director of the National Energy Security Foundation in Russia commenting on this fact said that transiting Turkmen oil to Baku-Ceyhan is a slap in Russia’s face, and while it is unpleasant it does not change the overall situation very much. Turkmen oil represents only 5 percent of the Baku-Ceyhan transit capacity, and overall Turkmenistan is not a big oil producing country. It produces five times less oil than Azerbaijan and 8 times less than Kazakhstan. Nevertheless, Simonov thinks it is a very serious warning for Russia. Russia should introduce certain amendments regarding its economic interests and policy towards the Caspian countries, in particular Turkmenistan.
The Messenger Online, Thursday, August 26