The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) export pipeline has been constructed and presently is exploited in accordance with the strictest world standards. There are and will not any problems with the pipeline, the Head of the Press Service of BP Azerbaijan, Tamam Bayatli, informed Trend, commenting on the information in the press on problems with BTC. BP Azerbaijan is the operator of BTC.
The press has disseminated information that the U.S. State Agency for Insurance of Private Investments (OPIC) is concerned by the assembly connections of the pipeline and the possibilities of cracks appearing and loss of oil.
The pipeline has undergone numerous commissioning work and it has passed through water pressing. Nearly 10 mln barrels of the technical oil has been pumped into the pipeline for testing.
The pipeline has already been exploited for one year without any problems, Bayatli said. In 2003 BP Azerbaijan discovered microcracks in the place of isolation. According to the experts' assessment, these cracks had emerged due to the difference of temperatures of the pipes and the isolation materials. The pipes were warmed up to prevent the microcracks. According to Bayatli, the problems were discovered by BP earlier on during the pipeline welding process. Therefore no pipes were laid into the land with microcracks, she said.