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BP shuts pipelines on fears over Georgia

BP shut down a pipeline carrying Caspian oil from Azerbaijan to the Georgian Sea on Tuesday citing concern about security in Georgia.

Toby Odone, a BP spokesman, said the 150,000 barrels a day pipeline from Baku to Supsa on the Georgian Black Sea had been closed as a "security precaution."

A natural gas pipeline linking a BP-operated field offshore Azerbaijan with Georgia and Turkey has also been closed.

Exports through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline to the Turkish Mediterranean, the main artery for exports from BP's huge Azeri field offshore Azerbaijan, halted last week after an explosion on the Turkish section of the pipeline. The pipeline carries 850,000 barrels a day

Kurdish separatists have claimed responsibility for the accident in Turkey.

Mr Odone said a fire at the site was extinguished on Monday, but the area was still "too hot" for repair work to begin and it was unclear when deliveries to the Ceyhan would recommence.

Mr Odone said "very small volumes of Azeri oil, less than 100,000 barrels a day," are now being exported via railways across the Caucasus and a pipeline to Russia.

BP has always kept its access rights to the Baku-Novorossisk pipeline, even if it hasn't been using it much lately.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 03:50:56 PM EST
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