Caspian Pipeline Consortium, Bellwether of Russia's Investment Climate? "Russie.Nei.Visions", No. 31, June 2008
The Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), a shipper-owned oil pipeline carrying Caspian oil to Russia's Black Sea port of Novorossyisk, remains to this day the only oil export pipeline on Russian territory that is not under the control of the state company Transneft. Completed in 2001, the CPC was, from the start, the product of a fragile balance of power between states eager to maintain control of hydrocarbon flows and private companies able to finance the necessary infrastructure. Despite its economic success, the future of the CPC currently hinges on a shareholding dispute pitting Russia against Western private shareholders. This essay places the CPC dossier in the broader context of Russia's investment climate and argues that the dispute's dynamic is an important bellwether of the Russian energy policy.