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BTC loads 1000th tanker at Ceyhan

Release date:
18 December 2009


The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil export pipeline, operated by BP, has today started loading the 1000th cargo of oil transported from the Sangachal terminal near Baku across Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to Ceyhan. The 1000th tanker – the British Kestrel, arrived at the Ceyhan Marine Terminal on December 17 and will depart for Rotterdam as soon as the loading is completed.


The 1000th tanker, which is being loaded simultaneously with the 999th cargo, will take on board approximately 600,000 barrels of crude oil. The oil transported via BTC to world markets mainly comes from the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) and Shah Deniz fields in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. The next - 1001st tanker, “Baku”, is expected to sail during this weekend, carrying crude oil belonging to SOCAR (Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company).


The total volume of oil exported via BTC to date is about 791 million barrels (about 106 million tonnes). The current export rate via BTC is about 850,000 barrels per day with the highest daily flow-rate to date being 1,006,505 million barrels.

“Designed as a world-class facility BTC has so far demonstrated exceptional efficiency. The lifting of the 1000th tanker from Ceyhan is a remarkable milestone that winds up three and a half years of steady and efficient operations of BTC. Since the start up of export operations in 2006, the pipeline has demonstrated excellent safety performance with over 20 million man hours worked without a single day away from work case. This is the result of the stringent safety culture that BTC operations team have created and are committed to maintain along the entire pipeline. In addition, to date the pipeline operations have required 15 million km of driving a year and I am particularly proud to say that every single meter of this huge distance, which is equivalent of driving over 300 times around the world, has been driven safely. This is truly an excellent performance delivered by BTC operations team”, says Elkhan Mammadov, Azerbaijan Exports Operations Manager.


“As well as achieving this major milestone, BTC has implemented major sustainable development initiatives aimed at building skills and capabilities in local communities, improving their access to social infrastructure and helping them to generate sustainable livelihoods. I would like to thank our neighbours for their support and cooperation, as well as the many hundreds of people across the three countries who day and night run the pipeline and provide services to ensure BTC operates silently and efficiently. I would also like to thank the operator of the pipeline in Turkey and the Ceyhan Terminal, Botas International Limited (BIL), for their essential role in achieving this major milestone.” says Kemp Copeland, BP’s Vice President Onshore Operations.

Photos available.


The BTC Co. shareholders are: BP (30.1 per cent, operator); AzBTC (25 per cent); Chevron (8.9 per cent); Statoil (8.71 per cent); TPAO (6.53 per cent); ENI (5 per cent); Total (5 per cent), Itochu (3.4 per cent); INPEX (2.5 per cent), ConocoPhillips (2.5 per cent) and Hess (2.36 per cent).


Notes to Editors:


The 1768km BTC pipeline allows over one million barrels of oil a day to be exported safely and responsibly from the Caspian without increasing tanker traffic through the already crowded Turkish Straits.


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 more than 1500 rivers and climbs to a high point of 2,800 metres before returning to sea level at Ceyhan.

Since the start of the pipeline project BTC Co. has spent $10 million in Azerbaijan alone on sustainable development projects. For the three countries the respective number is around $64 million. Overall the company has worked with 550 communities (approximately 730,000 people) along its length and has implemented over 1000 sustainable development initiatives and these will continue in the future.



Further information:

Tamam Bayatly in BP’s Baku Press Office, tel. (+994 12) 599-45-57.
Tamila Chantladze in BP’s Tbilisi Press Office, tel. (995 32) 59 34 40.
Murat Lecompte in BP’s Istanbul Press Office, tel. (+90 216) 571 20 02