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BTC pipeline delivers first cargo of Azerbaijani crude

Posted: 9 June 2006

The Baku-Tbilisi- Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline achieved a historic milestone with the delivery of its first cargo of crude oil to world markets.

The inaugural shipment of about 600,000 barrels of crude oil was delivered by tanker to Savona, Italy, marking the start of export of Azerbaijan's crude oil via the BTC oil pipeline.

The crude oil initially will come from the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea and is expected to be joined by other volumes in the future, including production from across the Caspian region.

"BTC is a key strategic asset for Chevron and adds to our strong position in the Caspian region," said John Watson, president, Chevron International Exploration and Production.

Chevron has an 8.9 per cent interest in the 1,094-mile (1,762-km) pipeline that crosses Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey and holds a 10.3 per cent working interest in the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) that is producing from and developing the ACG field.

The $4.5 billion pipeline has a crude oil capacity of 1 million barrels per day and is expected to accommodate the majority of AIOC production.

The start of BTC operations follows the complete testing, commissioning and filling of the BTC pipeline along its entire route, starting in May last year from the Sangachal Terminal on the Caspian coast near Baku to the Ceyhan Terminal on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. A total of 10 million barrels of crude oil, which came from the ACG field, was required to fill the pipeline.

"BTC provides an important new means of transportation for growing production throughout the region," said Guy Hollingsworth, managing director of Chevron's Eurasia Business Unit.

The new pipeline is expected to bring significant benefits to the Caspian region. By opening another transit route for the region's growing production, BTC will create substantial revenues for the transit countries and also help to strengthen economic and political links between Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and the West.

Chevron is also a participant in another regional pipeline: the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, a 935-mile (1,505-km) crude oil export pipeline from the Tengiz Field in Kazakhstan to the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk in Russia.

Chevron has a 15 per cent interest in CPC, which provides a critical export route for crude oil from Kazakhstan.



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