The event officially marked the commencement of the first line fill phase of the BTC oil export pipeline.
It was the beginning of the long journey that Azerbaijan’s oil took from the Caspian to the world markets, benefiting the people of the three countries on its route and bridging the nations of the region. It enabled Azerbaijan to regain its important role in regional and international economic developments.
“We regard BTC not only as a pipeline but also as a safe and reliable tool that re-opened the Caspian to the international oil industry after almost a century. BTC’s performance has to date exceeded its stakeholders’ expectations. For a decade it has safely and silently operated via three regional countries demonstrating that, if built and operated to international standards, pipelines can protect the environment, benefit the communities in their neighbourhoods and generate wealth to the nations”, said Gordon Birrell, BP regional president for Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey (AGT) region.
Since that day, BTC has covered a long and glorious road and made a number of achievements.
In August 2005, the first barrels of the crude oil flowing through BTC reached the Azerbaijan –Georgian border and entered the Georgian section. A year later in June 2006, the first cargo of oil that travelled through BTC to Ceyhan, was loaded onto the tanker called British Hawthorn. On 11 August 2014, BTC celebrated the loading of the 2 billionth barrel of oil at the Ceyhan terminal in Turkey. Since first oil BTC has carried a total of about 2.2 billion barrels of crude oil, loaded on about 2900 tankers and shipped to world markets.
Recalling back these days, Ian Sutherland, BP AGT regional vice president said: “These were difficult but exciting times in bringing BTC into operation - a feat that many said could not be achieved. And now it is my pleasure to witness the transformation of BTC from a world-scale development project to a world-class pipeline business, having successfully shipped more than 2 billion barrels of oil in the intervening decade.”