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Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline Shutdown Could Last 5 Wks -Botas DOW JONES NEWSWIRES August 7, 2008 5:49 a.m.
LONDON (Dow Jones)--The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline could be shut down for up to five weeks following a fire Wednesday, a Botas International Ltd. spokesman said Thursday. "It will be shut down for a minimum of two weeks but (the shutdown) could last five weeks," the BIL spokesman said.
Botas operates the Turkish part of BTC, where the fire took place. U.K. oil giant BP PLC (BP) is in charge of the overall pipeline.
BTC transports on average 850,000 barrels a day of oil and condensates from Azerbaijani fields operated by BP and other companies to the Mediterranean terminal of Ceyhan in Turkey. A five-week shutdown would mean 30 million barrels not reaching the markets through BTC.
BP is set to be hurt financially by the shutdown both as the operator of BTC and as its client. It had to reduce output from its Azerbaijani fields and is diverting some of it to Russian routes.
BP, StatoilHydro ASA and other partners reduced crude production at the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli and Shah Deniz fields in the Azeri part of the Caspian Sea on Aug. 8 after a fire on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.
The fire in eastern Turkey is still burning, although flames are subsiding, Ebru Akdogan, a spokeswoman for Baku- Tbilisi-Ceyhan Co., said by phone today. She was unable to say when it will be put out and didn't have an estimate for how long repairs will take.
"We will need to extinguish the fire first and then we can see the damage,'' Akdogan said. Last Updated: 10 Aug 2008
The reopening of BTC pipeline remains unclear as repair continues
The examinations of the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) are underway to establish how long the repairs would take as the explosion on the Turkish side of the line and Georgia-Russia conflict raised doubts over the safety of the key energy route.
"We don't know the extent of the damage and can't say whether the assessment will finish in a couple of days or not," she said.
Turkey's Energy Ministry expects the BTC pipeline, which can carry 1 million barrels a day, to resume operations in a week, a spokesman earlier said.
Shippers declared force majeure on exports from the Supsa and Ceyhan ports, a legal clause that exempts them from meeting contracted deliveries because of circumstances beyond their control.
BP-Led Oil Pipeline to Resume Shipments Next Week
By Eduard Gismatullin and Ayla Jean Yackley
Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- The BP Plc-led Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which transports oil from Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey's Mediterranean coast, will resume tanker loadings next week following fire damage earlier this month.
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, and other exporters of Azeri oil have been unable to use the 1,768- kilometer (1,100-mile) link since Aug. 5 when a blaze engulfed the pipeline in Erzincan province in northeastern Turkey.
BP, StatoilHydro ASA and partners had to reduce production at oil fields in the Azeri part of the Caspian Sea after flows halted through the pipeline, which has a capacity of 1 million barrels a day, about 1 percent of the world's supply. The military conflict in Georgia also highlighted risks for crude oil and natural gas transportation across the Caucasus.
BTC Co., which operates the link, will start ``testing of the line today before a move to full operation,'' the Turkey- based company said in an e-mailed statement. ``This will involve some limited and intermittent flow of oil through the pipeline.''
A statement was sent to transporters so that ``the shipping schedule can be updated today for loadings to begin next week,'' Murat Lecompte, external affairs director for BTC, said in a telephone interview. Repairs are completed and exporters will be putting oil into the pipeline, while the testing will take a few days to complete, he said.
Another pipeline, which pumps 100,000 barrels of crude a day from the Azeri capital of Baku to the Georgian port of Supsa, has been shut on security concerns because of the fighting in Georgia. Shippers declared force majeure on exports from the Supsa and Ceyhan ports, a legal clause that exempts them from meeting contracts because of circumstances beyond their control.
Last Updated: August 20, 2008 08:32 EDT
BP says Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan to start integrity testing Wednesday
Dynamic integrity testing on the 1 million b/d Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan crude pipeline, which has been closed for two weeks following an explosion, will begin later Wednesday, Murat Lecompte, a spokesman for BP Turkey, said Wednesday.
"The testing is the last stage before full pipeline operation," Lecompte said, adding that the final decision when to restart operations of BTC would depend on the results of the testing.
A BTC source told Platts the dynamic integrity testing would involve "some limited and intermittent flow of oil through the pipeline."
"For ship scheduling purposes, the lifting program at Ceyhan will be updated today to start loadings from the beginning of next week," the source said.
Lecompte said BP expected flows in the line to be restarted and for the line to have been refilled within the next few days, allowing for loading at the pipeline's terminal at Ceyhan to be restarted early next week.
However, he said he had no information on the status of production at either the Azeri-Chirag-Gunesli fields, which supply the bulk of throughput in BTC, or the Shah Deniz gas field, which also produces condensates for the BTC line. Both ACG and Shah Deniz were ramped down following the closure of BTC.
BP Says Tankers to Resume Loadings Tomorrow From BTC (Update2) By Ayla Jean Yackley and Ladane Nasseri
Aug. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Tankers will begin loading oil tomorrow from the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline for the first time since a fire affected the main outlet for Azeri crude to U.S. and European markets almost three weeks ago.
"The first tanker will dock after midnight tonight,'' said Murat Lecompte, an Istanbul-based spokesman for BP Plc, the main operator of the BTC link. "Loadings have not actually started yet,'' he said, revising an earlier statement from BP saying tankers were being loaded today.
Tomorrow's start to loadings follows repairs and testing after the pipe was closed on Aug. 5 when an explosion sparked a blaze on the 1,768-kilometer (1,100-mile) pipeline. The BTC carries as much as 1 million barrels of Azeri crude each day through Georgia to Turkey's Mediterranean coast.
The first tanker will take up to 15 hours to fill, depending on its size, Lecompte said in a phone interview. An average of two tankers are loaded daily when oil flows at normal levels.
"Flows will increase throughout the day today,'' Lecompte said.
"Maximum rates will be reached overnight.''
BP to shut Baku-Ceyhan for 2-3 days end Sept-source
Tue Sep 9, 2008 4:41pm BST
BAKU, Sept 9 (Reuters) - BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) will halt the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline for two to three days in late September for minor maintenance, a source at Azeri national oil company SOCAR said on Tuesday.
The work will include checks on valves like the one that caused a fire last month, halting the pipeline for 20 days, the source said. The pipeline's current capacity is 900,000-950,000 barrels per day, or about 1 percent of world supply.
The stoppage will not affect output from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oilfield, the main source of oil for the Baku-Ceyhan line, the source said.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2008, 7:46 A.M. ET Force Majeure On Some BTC Azeri Oil Exports - Co Source
LONDON (Dow Jones)--State Oil Company of Azerbaijan has declared force majeure on some shipments of Azeri crude from the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline following partial shutdown of a large oil field in Azerbaijan, a source at the state oil company told Dow Jones Newswires Tuesday.
"We declared force majeure to our clients, which may lead to certain delays in fulfilling the contracts," the source at SOCAR said, the declaration would legally protect the company from some of its contractual obligations to buyers. "This is not a global force majeure," the person added.
However, a spokesperson for SOCAR denied the move, and a BP PLC (BP) spokesman in Azerbaijan said the company wasn't aware of any declaration of force majeure on shipments.
Two platforms on the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli field were shutdown last week, cutting output from 850,000 barrels of oil a day to 350,000 barrels a day. All personnel were evacuated from the West Azeri platform last week when a gas leak was detected nearby. The Central Azeri platform was evacuated as a precaution.
BP is the ACG field operator with a 34.1% stake. Other shareholders include Chevron Corp. (CVX) with 10.2%, SOCAR with 10%, INPEX with 10%, StatoilHydro ASA (STO) with 8.6% and Exxon Mobil Corp.(XOM) with 8%.
Company Web site: http://www.bp.com
Shell Nigeria Suspends Export Obligations on Crude
By Alexander Kwiatkowski
Nov. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc suspended export obligations on shipments of its Nigerian crude in November and December as the West African country cuts production to comply with OPEC's curbs.
Shell declared force majeure on exports of Nigeria's Bonga, Forcados and Bonny Light crude effective Oct. 31, spokesman Rainer Winzenried said by telephone today. Force majeure is a legal clause that allows producers to miss contracted deliveries because of circumstances beyond their control.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said its members will trim crude output by 1.5 million barrels a day from Nov. 1 to support falling oil prices. Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. said it will reduce crude volume in November and December shipments by 5 percent. The state oil company also canceled five cargoes this month and 7.6 shipments in December.
Shell's Winzenried said exports will be affected. He couldn't say by how much. Force majeure has been in place for Bonny Light since July after rebels sabotaged a pipeline.
Nigeria has already canceled at least two November shipments and seven December-loading cargoes, according to three traders of West African crude who declined to be identified because of company policy. One of the December shipments, a Bonga cargo, belongs to Shell, the traders said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski in London at email@example.com
LinkThe police used pepper gas to disperse the crowd, ANKA news agency reported. Tens of thousands of people attended the rally. Around 500 buses would bring workers to Ankara as some demonstrators have already started their protests in the Sihhiye Square of the capital.
The workers carry banners, saying "We would not pay the price of the crisis," while the unions officially named the rally as "Labor, Peace and Democracy." The unions protest the government for protecting the employers not workers with its financial support plan.
Leftist political parties as well as numerous NGOs extended their support to the demonstration and the unions.
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