Georgia clashes won't stop BTC oil flow: Turk source

The pipeline carrying Azeri crude, which passes through Georgia, was hit by an explosion claimed by PKK militants on Turkish territory two days before conflict began over the South Ossetia region between Russia and Georgia.

Georgia clashes won't stop BTC oil flow: Turk source
Fighting in Georgia will not stop oil flow on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline and exports will resume when the pipeline is repaired, a source at Turkish state pipeline company Botas said on Tuesday.

The pipeline carrying Azeri crude, which passes through Georgia, was hit by an explosion claimed by PKK militants on Turkish territory two days before conflict began over the South Ossetia region between Russia and Georgia.

"We are not linking the fighting between Russia and Georgia with the oil pipeline at the moment. We are focused on repairing the pipeline," the source, who declined to be named, said.

"Oil exports will begin when the pipeline is repaired, the fighting is not an obstacle for exports," the source said.

Another Botas source said on Monday repairs may not be finished for one to two weeks or longer. No oil is currently flowing through the pipeline.

World oil prices rose last week after the announcement of the blaze, and estimates that it could take up to two weeks to get the pipeline on stream again.

The pipeline normally carries Azeri oil which is high quality and commands a premium. The $4 billion BTC pipeline can pump up to a million barrels per day, the equivalent of more than 1 percent of world supply, from fields in the Azeri sector of the Caspian Sea to Ceyhan on the Turkish Mediterranean coast.

Britain's BP Plc owns 30.1 percent of BTC, while Azeri state oil company Socar holds 25 percent. Other shareholders include U.S. companies Chevron and ConocoPhillips, Norway's StatoilHydro , Italy's ENI and France's Total.

PKK militants claimed responsibility for the explosion and said they would carry out more attacks on economic targets inside Turkey.

Reuters
Last Mod: 12 Ağustos 2008, 12:34
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