BP commenced testing and commissioning South Caucasus Gas Pipeline

Oil&Gas Materials 1 June 2006 16:32 (UTC +04:00)

BP, as Technical Operator of the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) gas export project, is pleased to announce on behalf of the SCP shareholders that the project has commenced testing and commissioning the new gas export system by filling it with gas from the Sangachal terminal. This follows the completion of the construction and hydro-testing of the pipeline. The first gas will be delivered to market up to September of this year, Trend reports.

The commissioning gas was introduced to SCP from the Sangachal terminal on May 21st, crossed the Georgian border on May 28th and has currently reached Area 72, the Georgian domestic delivery point near Gardabani.

Pressure and operational testing of the facilities and equipment is currently underway. The commissioning of the remaining section of SCP to the Georgian/Turkish border will commence in August, following the introduction of gas into the Sangachal Terminal processing facilities and the marine pipelines running out to the Shah Deniz Alpha gas production platform.

Approximately 0.1 bcm of gas will be required to commission the entire Shah Deniz/SCP export system from the Shah Deniz Platform to the Sangachal Terminal and on to the Georgian-Turkish border. The gas being used for the commissioning of the line is SOCARs associated gas coming from the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli field.

The SCP project comprises a new gas export system from Azerbaijan through Georgia to the Turkish border. It is a pipeline over 690 kilometres in length (442 km in Azerbaijan and 248 km in Georgia) and was constructed jointly with, and in the same corridor as the BTC oil export pipeline

in order to minimise the environmental and social impact. The pipeline diameter is 42 and its ultimate throughput capacity will be 20 bcm per annum with the future addition of compression stations. Main line construction activities commenced in late 2004 and were completed in May 2006.

Numerous design and safety features have been incorporated into the construction of SCP to provide many layers of protection and make it conform to the highest international standards. In addition, to ensure the safety, security and integrity of the pipeline, there will be regular security patrolling by both governmental and SCP operations staff and frequent maintenance checks by SCP pipeline technicians.

The investors to the South Caucasus Pipeline Company are: BP (operator 25,5%), Statoil (25,5%), the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR 10%), LUKoil (10%), NICO (10%), Total (10%), and TPAO (9%). The Ministry of Industry and Energy of the Azerbaijan Republic is a non-funding shareholder.

In general, the investment of the midstrim project amounts to some $1,3 billion, and the investment was disbursed by the South Caucasus Pipeline Company (SCPC). SCPC possesses the same participation share in Shah Deniz.