BP to Increase Capacity of BTC Pipeline

Oil&Gas Materials 10 April 2008 17:11 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 10 April /corr. Trend E.Ismaylov, S.Aliyev / BP Azerbaijan Company, operator of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, is going to increase the carrying capacity of the pipeline from 1mln barrels to 1.2mln barrels per day, a source near the project stated on 10 April.

Construction for a facility to inject chemicals into the pipe within the Sangachal terminal complex, where BP's main pump station (PSA1) is located, will commence soon.  It aims to expand BTC's design capacity, according to well-informed sources.

Construction works will be carried out by Azfen JV (SOCAR - 60% and Turkish Tekfen - 40%). In addition, Azfen asks for the similar installations in two pumping stations in Georgia as well. The installations in pumping stations in Turkey are being established by Tekfen. However, the company has not been determined to establish the installations in one station in Azerbaijan.

The introduction of chemical reagents, which will raise the capacity of pipeline, is possible this year. According to preliminary estimations of experts, additional equipment is required to be installed in order to introduce chemical reagents in Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline through which it will be piped.

At present, BTC pumps some 750,000 barrels of oil per day with the nominal capacity of pipeline reaching 1mln barrels. The pipeline is expected to pump1mln barrels of oil per day by the end of the year.

Increasing the capacity of pipeline is quite necessary for transportation of increasing volumes of export of Azerbaijani light oil and the oil of other Kazakh producers. The American ChevronTexaco, one of shareholders of BTC and the part of project on development of Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field, has expressed its interest in transporting of its oil via the pipeline produced in Tengiz field. The oil is expected to be shipped by tankers along the Caspian to Baku, to be pumped through BTC to the Turkish Ceyhan port in Mediterranean Sea. Further increase of the capacity of the pipeline up to 1.6mln barrels per day may be carried out after 2009.

Since April 2007, Azerbaijani Light oil has been delivered to the world markets mainly via BTC. Since its first transportation, produced from the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli field, about 45mln tons of Azerbaijani light oil has been exported through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

The total length of BТС is 1.768km, including the 443km section running via Azerbaijan, the 249km section via Georgia and the 1.076km via Turkey. The pumping capacity of the pipeline is over 50mln tons of oil (1mln barrels of oil per day). Next year, the discharge capacity will expand to 1.2mln barrels of oil a day, at the expense of pumping the chemical reagents.

A total of $4bln has been spent for the construction of BTC 1,768km pipeline, not including the fulfillment of the pipeline, financial expenses and payment of the bank rates. The credit allocated for the project totaled $2.6bln.

BTC Company Shareholders includes: BP (30.1%); AzBTC (25%); Chevron (8.90%); Statoil Hydro (8.71%); ТРАО (6.53%); Eni (5%); Total (5%); Itochu (3.40%); Inpex (2.50%); ConocoPhillips (2.50%) and Amerada Hess (2.36%).

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