Azerbaijan , Baku /corr. Trend U.Ismaylova/ Sabit Baghirov, the Chief of the Entrepreneurship and Market Economy Development Assistance Fund, ex-President of SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan), has said today that pipeline company BTC CO., engaged in managing BTC Pipeline (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan) should really estimate the competitive conditions offered by the TranssBalkan pipeline of Burgas-Aleksandropulos.
Russia, Bulgaria, and Greece have recently signed an agreement on laying the pipeline - "Burgas -Aleksandropulos". Notably, the idea of the construction of this pipe has almost discussed for 13 years. The value of the project has not announced yet. According to the preliminary data, it may reach €1 bln.
"Burgas-Aleksandropulos is an evident rival for BTC," he said.
According to him, much things will depend on the conditions, the companies-owners of the pipe, as well as the Governments of those countries, where it will pass, will offer to potential oil exporters.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (sometimes abbreviated as BTC pipeline) transports crude petroleum 1,776 km from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil field in the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea . The total length of the pipeline in Azerbaijan is 443 km long, in Georgia it is 249 km long and in Turkey is 1076 km long. There are 8 pump stations through the pipeline route. It passes through Baku , the capital of Azerbaijan ; Tbilisi , the capital of Georgia ; and Ceyhan , a port on the south-eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey , hence its name. It is the second longest oil pipeline in the world (the longest being the Druzhba pipeline from Russia to central Europe). The daily piping capacity of the pipeline reaches 1 bln. Barrels. The crude reaches the finish point of the pipe within 10 days.
"No doubt that the exporters will prefer carrying oil to the European market via that pipeline, which could offer more advantageous tariffs, better security of the transportation, as well as good operation, maintenance, and timely delivery,' explained he.
Some experts consider that BTC and TransBalkan pipe will not compete with each other, since the both projects have been designed and implemented for other purposes.
"It is not ruled out that after the Caspian Pipeline Consortium Pipeline (CTC) expands its activity, the Burgas Aleksandropulos may attract some export volumes from the Kazakhstan deposit of Tengiz, which might be piped via BTC as well," experts say.
BTC Co and the Oil Consortium of TengizChevrooil have already agreed on piping small oil consignments via BTC from the Tengiz Deposit. Notably, the above-mentioned consortium is led by the American energy giant of ChevronTexaco. Oil produced from Tengiz is currently exporting via CTC to the Russian Black Sea Port of Novorossiysk.