9 Dec 2010 14:12

Baku-Ceyhan pipeline resumes operation after Dec 7 shutdown

BAKU. Dec 9 (Interfax) - The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline has resumed operation after it shutdown on December 7 owing to a leak on the Turkish segment, BP-Azerbaijan told Interfax.

Botas, the operator of the Turkish segment of the pipeline, blamed the leak on an attempt to illegally tap into the pipeline.

"Oil transportation on the pipeline resumed on Wednesday evening. BTC is exporting oil in full measure," a company representative said.

The shutdown did not affect oil production at the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli fields, condensate production at Shah Deniz or tanker loading at the Ceyhan terminal.

Alongside oil from Azerbaijan, in June 2010 the BTC pipeline began shipping crude from Turkmenistan. It also has an agreement to ship Kazakh oil from Tengiz.

The BTC pipeline stretches 1,768 kilometers, including 443 km in Azerbaijan, 249 km in Georgia and 1,076 km in Turkey. The pipeline has capacity to ship more than 50 million tonnes of oil a year.

The project participants include BP (30.1%), State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR) (25%), Chevron (8.9%), Statoil (8.71%), TPAO (6.53%), Eni (5%), Itochu (3.4%), ConocoPhillips (2.5%), Inpex (2.5%), Total (5%) and Amerada Hess (2.36%).