UPDATE 1-Caspian oil pipeline eyes massive expansion thanks to new oilfields

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ASTRAKHAN, Russia, May 12 (Reuters) - The Caspian oil pipeline will boost its capacity this year by some 47 percent thanks to new oilfields in the region including the giant Kashagan deposit in Kazakhstan, the director general of the consortium that owns it, Nikolai Gorban, said on Friday.

The plans to boost the oil exports may undermine OPEC-led efforts to cut production of oil in order to reduce bloated global inventories and support sagging oil prices.

The Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), the only private large oil pipeline in Kazakhstan and Russia, is wrapping up its $5.4 billion five-year expansion programme this autumn.

Oil exports via the CPC rose by 3.6 percent to 44.3 million tonnes in 2016 and are expected to grow to almost 65 million tonnes (1.3 million barrels per day) this year.

The pipeline connects the Tengiz field in Kazakhstan, and a number of other fields, to the sea terminal near Novorossiisk in Russia.

On Friday, CPC launched two new pumping stations in the region of Astrakhan, Russia’s gateway to the Caspian Sea. The stations will increase CPC’s capacity by up to 10 million tonnes per year, Gorban told reporters.

It plans to add a further three, bringing its total number of pumping stations to 15.

Gorban said Kazakhstan’s Kashagan oilfield will supply 8 million to 9 million tonnes of oil this year, up from more than 800,000 tonnes in 2016.

He said work on CPC’s expansion would be completed in September and it planned to ship 4.8 million tonnes in May.

Filanovsky and Korchagin Caspian offshore oilfields, owned by Russia’s No.2 oil producer Lukoil, are expected to provide CPC with a total of 5.4 million tonnes this year, up from 745,000 tonnes last year.

CPC’s top shareholders are Russia with 24 percent, Kazakhstan’s KazMunaiGaz energy company with 19 percent and Chevron with 15 percent.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, along with Russia and other non-OPEC producers, pledged to cut output by 1.8 million bpd in the first half of 2017. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Katya Golubkova and David Evans)