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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Explosion hits Turkish section of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline

08–06–2008 – Day.Az, Gruziya Online, NewsRuFire hit the Erzindjan-Rafahiya section of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in Turkey.
15:55"Botas International Limited, the operator of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in Turkey, told us that fire occurred at wedge valve No 30 of the pipeline in Rafahiya, in Erzindjan province in eastern Turkey. No casualties were reported. The pipeline stopped operating from the central control station. Botas International Limited currently coordinates works to react on the situation and takes measures for extinguishing fire. We have offered any necessary aid to the company. Production works are currently being continued. A part of production is stored at the Sangachal terminal and another part is transported by alternative ways. Export from the Ceyhan pipeline is also continuing...", said Tamam Bayatli, spokesman for BP-Azerbaijan, BTC operator at the Azerbaijani section.
12:30According to ITAR-TASS, Turkish officials ruled out any purposeful blowing out of the pipeline. The pump explosion has become the reason of the accident.According to Mehmed Makas, head of the Rafahiya administration, where the incident occurred, before the explosion they received information about failure on the pipeline."The pipeline is being guarded reliably and I rule out any version of a terrorist act. Perhaps, explosion was caused by technical failure. Related bodies, investigating the case, are currently on the spot", said Makas. Firemen have taken all possible measures to avert fire expansion. Fire at the pumping station has not been stopped yet. Gas pipelines, laid in proximity to the BTC section, have also been blocked for security purposes.
11:16According to Turkish CNN, fire occurred at 23.30 of August 5 at the Erzindjan-Rafahiya section of the BTC pipeline. Oil transportation by pipes No 29 and 31 was stopped after the explosion. Reasons of explosion on the line of BOTAS company are unclear yet. As is reported, oil started to burn after explosion. The flame topped 50 meters in height. Strong wind spread the fire beyond the area of explosion. Firemen, ambulances, officials of local municipality, police and BOTAS company arrived to the spot. Local news agencies report that firemen are waiting for oil to burn completely as new explosion is possible anytime.

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