BTC pipeline throughput increasing in 2011

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, June 4 -- The throughput capacity of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline will increase to 1.4 million b/d from the current 1.2 million b/d, according to Azerbaijan’s Minister of Industry and Energy Natik Aliyev.

“The necessity to build up the BTC’s capacity is caused by the plans to produce more hydrocarbons both in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan,” Aliyev told delegates at the Caspian Oil & Gas 2010 Conference in Baku.

“Kazakhstan plans to transport 500,000 b/d of oil and to increase the amount by three times in future,” Aliyev said, adding, “We are ready to offer our reloading and transporting systems to our counterparts.”

At the same time, Aliyev said his country will increase its throughput of oil to 60 million tonnes/year from the current 53 million tpy.

Last month, State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) said it will begin a major expansion of its oil export terminal at Kulevi on Georgia's Black Sea coast, according to a senior executive of the firm.

The expansion is aimed at doubling the port's throughput capacity from the current 10 million tpy to 20 million tpy, possibly by yearend 2011, according to Ilham Nasirov, the managing director for SOCAR of BTC-Azerbaijan (OGJ Online, May 10, 2010).

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