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Transneft Increases its Stake in the Caspian Pipeline

Russian oil pipeline company Transneft has acquired Oman's 7 percent share in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium

The 7 percent acquisition brings the total share held by Transneft to 31 percent, the Platts news agency said. Oman said the Transneft deal was worth around $700 million. Other shareholders include Chevron and several joint ventures with BP, Shell and ExxonMobil.

Oman had hinted it was eager to pull out of the project because of the vast shareholder makeup and project inefficiency. BP has expressed similar complaints, pointing to complex plans to expand the pipeline as an obstacle.

The members of the Consortium said increasing pipeline capacity was desirable, and in May Russia and Kazakhstan agreed to plans to move in that direction by 2012.

Caspian Pipeline Consortium represents a 938-mile oil pipeline from the Tengiz oil field in western Kazakhstan to the Russian Novorossiysk port on the Black Sea. The capacity, which also relies on the Kashagan oil field and Karachaganak gas condensate field, is around 670,000 barrels per day.