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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Aliyev: Inauguration of BTC Section 'Most Important Event' for Georgia

AssA-Irada 13/10/2005 19:23 - Inauguration of the Georgian section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export oil pipeline will be the most important event for Georgia, President Ilham Aliyev said on Wednesday at the ceremony, which marked a major step toward completion of this strategically important energy project that will deliver major oil resources to global markets. Aliyev said transportation of oil to Georgia will accelerate the country's economic development and greatly contribute to increasing the welfare of the Georgian people. "The project, which was a dream for many for a long time, has become a reality." The President recalled his participation at the ceremony of pumping of first oil into the pipeline at the Sangachal terminal several months ago, along with the Presidents of Georgia and Turkey. He voiced confidence that the Turkish section of the pipe, which will allow to transport Azeri oil to world markets from Turkey's eastern Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, will also be inaugurated soon. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili addressing the event said the BTC pipeline bears political significance for his country even greater than its economic capabilities. He also said that Azerbaijan is developing in a way that it supported by Georgia and that its development is of great importance for the entire region. The ceremony was attended by Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, US special envoy on Caspian issues Steven Mann, and BP company president John Brown, as well as BP Group managing director, officials, senior executives of BTC owner companies and businesspeople. The 1,768-km pipeline will carry one million barrels of oil a day from the BP-operated Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli field in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea to the eastern Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, bypassing the heavily used Bosphorus Straits. Staged filling of the pipeline is a gradual process over a period of several months, involving over 10 million barrels of oil. The oil is currently on its way towards the Georgian-Turkish border, and the loading of the first tanker at Ceyhan is expected around the year-end.

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