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Friday, April 13, 2007

BP cranks Baku-Ceyhan capacity

05 April 2007 - Upstream onLine - The BP-run Baku-Ceyhan pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey has reached its full capacity of 1 million barrels per day, the British company said today. The 1,768-kilometre pipeline, launched in May 2006, pumps crude from the giant Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) group of fields in the Caspian Sea to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. "The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is now capable of transporting the projected one million bpd of oil after we put all the pumping stations into operation," BP Azerbaijan said in a statement, Reuters reported. The pipeline ships about 700,000 bpd of oil from the "ACG" fields with reserves estimated at 6.59 billion barrels of oil. Only two of the ACG fields, Azeri and Chirag, are already producing. Guneshli will be put on stream later this decade. To ensure transportation of the field's increasing output, BP is planning to expand the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline's capacity to 1.6 million bpd. TengizChevroil, a group led by US supermajor Chevron, is also going to use the pipeline to ship Kazakh crude to Turkey. But a Baku-Ceyhan official in Azerbaijan said earlier this week the first shipments would be delayed by at least six months to early 2008. He said the group, which also includes ExxonMobil, Kazakh state oil company KazMunaiGas, a BP-led joint venture and Russia's Lukoil, needed more time to clear "many issues" by the venture participants. He gave no details.

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