WHAT CAN DO THE BTC?
Since the very beginning it was clear that the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export oil pipeline assumes equal significance for countries which host it. For Azerbaijan, a host country, it is a child which could bring concrete dividends (more favorable state of the market and perspectives of high oil prices for a long period enable to make the hopes real), while for Turkey the pipeline is means another priority commissioning of its port for the delivery of Azerbaijani and now the Kazakh oil to the world market. As to Georgia, it was happy with its role of a transit country since the very beginning. One can urge with confidence: these countries, pursuing economic, political and purely commercial interests, finally expect big incomes from it.
Today when the project expected never to come to reality function and the first tanker was along fulfilled, it would be possible to speak really about the priorities of the pipeline for every country taken separately, including Kazakhstan.
For Azerbaijan BTC is important both from political and economic points of view. So, it would bring economic benefits and political capital. Thus, the exploitation of the oil pipeline will enable to consolidate the sovereignty of the country, while significance of Azerbaijan will increase more and more, taking into account the actuality of the energy security problem for Europe and entire world. The consumption of energy resources throughout the world will increase 60% by 2030 and in this case the BTC will play indisputable role for safe exit of the Caspian oil to world markets.
At the same time, it not secret that today the Azerbaijani economy mostly depend on oil and 80% of the Azerbaijani export falls on oil and oil products. If so far the Azerbaijani oil was export via two routes to Novorossiysk and Supsa, the realization of the BTC will allow exporting oil in full scale.
Now it is difficult to name exact sum of profits that Azerbaijan will receive from the exploitation of the BTC in connection with the increase of the world oil prices. Two years ago Azerbaijans incomes from the BTC were forecasted from $700m to $1bn in case the export oil prices comprised $20 - 25 per barrel, while till 2010 the state treasury will accumulate approximately $5bn. However, the current oil prices enable to multiple the forecasts more the 2 times.
Turkey has turned into a significant bridge between producers and consumers of energy and may already be called a country with significant oil products reserves. The pipeline makes a great impact on the energy security of Turkey Ceyhan region today is Turkeys most significant project and it shall be told of to the entire world. Ceyhan is about to become a new Rotterdam The Turkish Г‡alД±k Grubu jointly with the Indian company Д°ndian Oil Company (Д°OK) even considers the opportunities for the construction of an oil refinery plant in Ceyhan with the discharge capacity of 200,000 barrels of oil a day. The budget of the project is estimated to. Thus, Ceyhan terminal will become an energy export and trade center of the region.
The pipeline is important for Turkey for decrease of the delivery of dangerous cargo via the Turkish straights. Thus, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export oil pipeline has discharge capacity of 50 million tons and it will reduce burden of the Bosporus and Dardanelles in the same volume. Kazkahstans joining to the BTC release more the Turkish straights.
The BTC will enable to increase the energy independence of Georgia as well. Georgia has a long played a linking role between East and West and now it has become a place when the world biggest companies invest with respect to ensure the energy security of an independent country, the Georgian President Mikhael Saakashvili stated.
As of official data, Georgias profits from the exploitation of the oil pipeline will comprise $2.5bn over 40 years to come, or $52m a year. It is a very impressive income for a poor country like Georgia, which will result in 10%-rise in the GDP of this country, while delivery of the Azerbaijani gas on free of charge and on privileged prices will ensure energy balance.
Like in the situation with Turkey Georgia also hope that the commissioning of the BTC will enable to unload considerably the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline, which was out into exploitation in 1999 and can transport 5.7 million tons a year (115,000 barrels). The pipeline will be used for the delivery of the Caspian and Mediterranean oil to the European markets using the ferry with the Odessa-Brody pipeline.
In its turn Astana is considering the BTC as an important route for transportation of own oil to the world market. On 16 June the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, Ilham Aliyev and Nursultan Nazarbayev signed in Almaty a joint agreement on Support and Assistance to oil transportation from Kazakhstan to world market via the Caspian Sea and Azerbaijani territory through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Kazakhstan can set up oil pumping even in 2007.
"The BTC is am attractive project for increase of our export potential and Azerbaijan is a reliable partner in this sphere," Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev noted. In case increase of production of energy resources Kazakhstan faces with a necessity of search of additional export routes and in this respect pins great hope on the BTC. Kazakhstan has already established an infrastructure in the Caspian port of Aktau needed for oil export via Azerbaijan. A new port Kuryk will be built in Kazakhstan delivery of Kazakh oil via the BTC.
Israel is seriously considering the issue on continuation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) main export oil pipeline via its territory.
The Israeli Infrastructure Minister, Benjamin Ben-Elieizer, stated tThe territory of Israel is located in 60km of the Turkish port of Ceyhan, which makes possible the use of the Israeli pipeline arteries for the oil delivery from the Caspian to the Near East markets, the minister underlined.
Ben-Elieizer said that the Israeli companies have set up active consideration of the issue on capital investments in the Azerbaijani economy. He added that part of energy resources utilized currently in Israel, falls on the natural gas and in future we want the Azerbaijani gas to be purchased by the Israeli companies.
In its turn Iran is studying the perspective fields in the south part of the Caspian Sea and if any field is discovered, the BTC might become one of the variants for oil transportation
Thus, the BTC assumes large-scale interests. As of forecasts of the Leo Drollas Global Energy Resources Center, the commissioning of the BTC will enable to decrease oil prices to required level.