Georgia’s situation will not harm international pipeline projects

Nov 18, 2003 01:00 AM

Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze maintains that the unsettled situation in the country in the wake of parliamentary elections will not impact on the building of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline nor the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline. "Revenues Georgia makes on these projects will be almost half the country's budget," Shevardnadze said.

The World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) decided not long ago to financially back the building of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, he noted, which will "bring Georgia enormous returns." This will be the longest in the world and have great throughput capacity, he said. Almost every expert holds that "from an ecological point of view, this project has no equal in its reliability and safety," he said.
The building of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline will "make possible the full 'gasification' of Georgia," Shevardnadze said.

As reported earlier, political opposition in the country has been staging many acts of protects in the Georgian capital, seeking the cancellation of the November 2 parliamentary election results. The pro-government block emerged the leader, but opposition figures claim the results were rigged.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline carries an estimated $ 2.95 bn price tag. It will run for 1,767 km, with 443 km in Azerbaijan, 248 km in Georgia and 1,076 km in Turkey. Its throughput capacity will be 50 mm tpy of oil. The construction began this past April and should wrap up in the fourth quarter of next year.

Project members are: BP (30.1 %), State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR, 25 %), Unocal (8.9 %), Statoil (8.71 %), Turkey's TPAO (6.53 %), ENI (5 %), Itochu (3.4 %), ConocoPhillips (2.5 %) and INP. The Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline will run 442 km through Azerbaijan and 248 km through Georgia, with pumping capacity of 30 bn cm annually.
Project participants are: BP (25.5 %), Statoil (25.5 %), the Russian- Italian LUKAgip (10 %), TotalFinaElf (10 %), SOCAR (10 %), Iran's OEIC (10 %) and TPAO (9 %).

Source: Interfax
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