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BTC celebrates 500 million tonnes of oil export

Release date:
13 December 2021

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil export pipeline, operated by bp, has achieved a significant milestone by carrying 500 million tonnes of oil in total from the Sangachal terminal near Baku across Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to Ceyhan. 

The milestone was achieved on 12 December when the 500 millionth tonne of Caspian crude flowed through the pipeline, was loaded on the 4922nd tanker named Nordorse, which was a joint SOCAR lifting, and departed for Trieste (Italy).  

This achievement is a significant contribution to the 15th anniversary of BTC since the pipeline became operational in 2006. Over the past 15 years BTC has been carrying hydrocarbons from the Caspian to its global customers safely, silently, reliably, unseen and with minimum risk to the environment. 


Since the start of operations, BTC has demonstrated exceptional efficiency. To date BTC has had strong safety and operational performance. Its efficiency and operational reliability has increased from 75% at the start up to the current level of 99.9%.


Gary Jones, bp’s regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, said: “The 500 million tonnes of oil export is a remarkable milestone that winds up 15 years of steady and efficient operations of BTC. After so many years the pipeline continues to be the major artery of energy export in the region serving as a strategic direct link between the landlocked Caspian and the Mediterranean which has easy access to the markets all over the world. 
“BTC was built as a huge engineering achievement and with its continuous safe, reliable and responsible operations it can be described as an extraordinary example of operational efficiency and world class delivery. We all should take pride in BTC’s success story including tremendous positive changes it has brought to the communities and the people across the three counties. This is truly a great facility in all respects and we are very proud of what it has achieved today. A big thank you to all people running this world class facility safely and  silently day and night  across the three countries.  I would also like to thank our BTC shareholders for their support and great collaboration.”

The BTC Co. shareholders are: bp (30.1%); AzBTC (25.00%); MOL (8.90%); Equinor (8.71%); TPAO (6.53%); Eni (5.00%); TotalEnergies (5.00%), ITOCHU (3.40%); INPEX (2.50%), ExxonMobil (2.50%) and ONGC (BTC) Limited (2.36%).

BTC key facts and figures

  • The 1768 km long BTC was designed  to export crude oil safely and responsibly from the Caspian to the Mediterranean. 
  • Starting from the construction phase, BTC has made a positive difference by bringing significant benefits to the region.
  • By avoiding the Turkish Straits, BTC helps relieve the  oil related traffic through the already crowded Straits and associated environmental risks.
  • BTC creates substantial revenues for the transit countries, and continues to help strengthen economic and political links between Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and the West.
  • Since the start of the pipeline project BTC Co. has worked with more than 550 communities (more than  750,000 people) along the  length of the pipeline and has implemented thousands of  social initiatives and these will continue in the future.
  • The current throughput capacity of BTC is 1.2 million barrels of oil per day. 
  • The pipeline uses 46/42/34” diameter pipe. It has eight pump stations and 98 valve stations across the three transit countries. 
  • The pipeline crosses several mountain ranges climbing to a high point of 2,830 metres before returning to sea level at Ceyhan, 3,000 roads, railways, and utility lines – both overground and underground – and more than 1,500 watercourses up to 500 metres wide in the case of the Ceyhan River in Turkey.
  • Considered as one of the biggest and most complex engineering endeavours of its time in the world, BTC’s construction took four years to complete - it was sanctioned in July 2002 and was completed in May 2006. 
  • The construction activities involved 22,000 people at the peak (of which almost 80% were national employees), with more than 110 million man-hours spent, more than 200 million kilometers driven – equivalent to driving 10 times around the world, and 220,000 joints of pipe welded together. 
  • The first tanker with BTC oil was lifted from Ceyhan on 4 June 2006 when the first cargo of about 600,000 barrels of Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli crude was loaded onto the British Hawthorn and sailed away from the new Ceyhan Marine Terminal.  


Further information:

Tamam Bayatly at bp’s press office in Baku.
Telephone: (+994 12) 525 58 95