Press Release Regarding Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline No: 96 - May 18, 2001

At the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Project Management Committee meeting held in Baku on
May 15, 2001, the eight companies forming the shareholders of the project have assessed positively the results of the basic engineering work conducted for the project during the last six months and have decided to propose to their respective boards to undertake the detailed engineering phase, which will be the next phase of the project. Negotiations with new companies wishing to join the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project are being conducted in parallel to the engineering process.

In light of the results of basic engineering, the companies have found that cost
estimates and expected transit volumes were adequate for the initiation of the next phase and have noted that preliminary discussions with the international finance institutions regarding finance for the project have been encouraging.

Basic engineering has validated once more Turkey's thesis that the project is
economically and commercially attractive.

An important phase regarding the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline
has thus been completed.