British oil major BP has agreed with KazMunaiGaz of Kazakhstan to sell its stake in a joint venture that holds 1.75% of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, RIA Novosti reported reffering to a source in Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft
BP holds 6% in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, designed to carry Kazakh and Russian crude to a terminal on the Black Sea. The company owns the stake through two joint ventures, one with national oil and gas company KazMunaiGaz, and the other with Russia's largest independent crude producer LUKoil.
Transneft operates Russia's 31% stake in the CPC on behalf of the state.
The CPC was originally established in 1992 by the governments of Russia, Kazakhstan and Oman to build an oil pipeline from Kazakhstan to export routes through the Black Sea, and was later joined by international private companies. In October, Oman sold its entire 7% stake in the CPC to Russia and withdrew from the project.
The CPC, which was commissioned in October 2001, currently has capacity of around 30 million metric tons of oil per year and is expected to double it by 2012.
Meanwhile, a BP spokesman said the company was also holding talks with LUKoil on selling its stake in the CPC and the joint venture with the Russian crude producer.
And according to RIA N0vosti, the Transneft source said none of the CPC shareholders would object to BP's withdrawal from the project.