The Trans-Caspian Oil Pipeline is a proposed oil pipeline from the Kazakhstani port of Aktau to Baku in Azerbaijan. A 700 kilometers long pipeline, linked with the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in Baku, will allow to transport oil from the major Kazakhstani oilfield at Kashagan to the world market bypassing Russia. Its construction across the environmentally fragile and legally disputed segments of the Caspian Sea is predicated upon the construction of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (see that article for details).
Currently work for the pipeline is still in the feasibility stage according to an official from the oil company Total. This pipeline though would provide an important export route for oil in Western Kazakhstan. This work runs in parallel with negotiations that have been on going between the Azerbaijani and Kazakh governments concerning supply agreements to the BTC pipeline. The Kazakh government has agreed to supply initially 150,000 b/d with the potential to increase this to 400,000 b/d.
A large push for the project has been coming from the Partners of the Kashagan oilfield project and in particular Total who have a share in both the field and the BTC pipeline. They have estimated that such a project would cost roughly $4 bn dollars and suggested that it could be operational by 2010. However this timetable and cost estimation appears likely to change due to a global rise in cost of services and shortage of equipment in the Petroleum Market. It also faces much larger hurdles from Iran and Russia, both of whom are alternative avenues for Kazakhstan's oil and gas, who would both object to any pipeline being built.