Azerbaijan expects Baku-Erzerum gas pipeline to open in 2006

Construction of the Baku-Erzerum gas pipeline will be completed by the end of 2006, Azerbaijan President Ilkham Aliyev declared Friday at a leadership meeting of Azerbaijan's ruling party, Eni Azerbaijan, Rosbalt. learned at the party press office.

The president said the line would make possible movement of Ajeri gas to Turkey and then to Europe. Aliyev also said the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan export oil pipeline would be in operation by the end of 2004. He said additional countries were now seeking to be linked to the pipeline, the press office said.

According to expert figures, Azerbaijan will be producing approximately 50 billion cubic meters of natural gas from its sector of the Caspian Sea by early 2007. The republic itself will need about 20% of this amount.

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