Light Oil Production in Azerbaijan Drops due to BTC Operation Break
Azerbaijan, Baku, 7 August / Trend corr. S.Aliyev / The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC - operator of BP), which is engaged in full-scale development of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, has educed production due to the fire on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, Tamam Bayatli, press secretary for BP Azerbaijan, said on 7 August. BP did not specify how much the production had been reduced. In July, production averaged 870,000 barrels a day.
The production was cut because of suspension of export through BTC pipeline and overfilling of tanks at BP-owned Sangachal oil terminal.
According to BP, the oil produced from ACG is currently exported via alternative routes - the Baku-Supsa and Baku-Novorossiysk pipelines, as well as through railway to the Georgian Batumi port. All delivery points are based on the Black Sea shore.
Oil dispatch from the Ceyhan port goes on as well.
The reason of the explosion on BTC is still being specified. Turkish Cihan news agency reported that the blast at a pipe section in the Turkish region of Erzinjan is a terrorism act. The terrorist organization Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) took responsibility for the incident. The organization stated that the blast had been organized by kamikazes.
According to the Turkish Interior Ministry, the cause of the blast will be specified once the fire is completely extinguished.
The total BТС length is 1.768km, including the 443km section running via Azerbaijan, the 249km section via Georgia and the 1.076km via Turkey. Pipeline construction started in April 2003 and it became operational on 18 May 2005.
A total of $4bln was spent for the construction of BTC pipeline, not including the infill of the pipeline, financial expenses and payment of the bank interests. The credit allocated for the project totalled $2.6bln.
The BTC Co. shareholders are: BP (30.1%); AzBTC (25.00%); Chevron (8.90%); StatoilHydro (8.71%); TPAO (6.53%); ENI (5.00%); Total (5.00%), Itochu (3.40%); INPEX (2.50%), ConocoPhillips (2.50%) and Hess (2.36%).
The correspondent can be contacted at [email protected]