By Ayya Lmahamad
By targeting Azerbaijan's oil and gas infrastructure, Armenia poses a serious threat not only to Azerbaijan, but to European Union's energy security, a representative of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), Ibrahim Ahmadov said on October 7.
The SOCAR official made the remarks after Armenia fired a forbidden cluster missile at Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline in Yevlakh region on October 6.
The bomb landed 10 meters away from the pipeline. Over 300 cluster bomblets ejected around as a result of the attack.
The Prosecutor's General Office has stated that as a result of the Azerbaijani Army’s preventive measures, no damage to the pipeline was caused.
Ahmadov said that the BTC continues to operate in normal mode.
Furthermore, Ahmadov recalled Armenia's July attack on Tovuz region, stressing that Armenia put Azerbaijan's oil and gas infrastructure of international importance under direct threat.
"Armenia's prolonged occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent regions of Azerbaijan is a source of constant threat and danger for international oil and gas pipelines. Azerbaijani army is the main factor ensuring the security of this infrastructure by repelling the attacks of Armenia," he emphasized.
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan takes Azerbaijani energy resources to European markets via Georgia and Turkey and is the largest strategic project in the region that plays an important role in energy security of Europe.
The construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline started in 2002 in Baku and the inauguration took place in 2006 in Turkey.
On June 16, 2006, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed an agreement on Kazakhstan's joining the oil pipeline project. The contract provides for the organization of tanker transportation of Kazakh oil from Aktau to Baku via the Caspian Sea and its further transportation via the Baku- Tbilisi- Ceyhan pipeline.
The total length of the pipeline is 1,768 kilometres, of which 443 kilometres pass through the territory of Azerbaijan; 249 kilometres to Georgia; 1,076 kilometres to Turkey. The projected capacity is 50 million tons of oil per year or one million barrels per day. Light oil produced at the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli field is transported via Baku- Tbilisi- Ceyhan oil pipeline.
Some 161.9 million barrels of oil were transported via Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline during the period of January-September 2020. The volume of oil shipped via Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline has reached 3.5 billion since 2006. Likewise, in 2019, via Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan were transported 233.1 million barrels of oil.
Additionally, it should be noted that in 2006, when Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline was put into operation, 57.7 million barrels of oil were transported via this pipeline. In the meantime, the maximum volume of oil transported via this pipeline was in 2009, amounting to 287.6 million barrels.
The Baku- Tbilisi- Ceyhan pipeline shareholders are: BP (30.1 percent); AzBTC (25 percent); MOL (8.9 percent); Equinor (8.71 percent); TPAO (6.53 percent); Eni (5 per cent); Total (5 percent), ITOCHU (3.4 percent); INPEX (2.5 percent), ExxonMobil (2.5 percent) and ONGC (BTC) Limited (2.36 percent).
Armenian armed forces launched a large-scale operation in the front-line zone on September 27 at 6 am, shelling the positions of the Azerbaijani army from large-calibre weapons, mortars, and artillery installations of various calibres.
On October 4, Armenia launched missile attack on Ganja, Azerbaijan's second largest populated city. There were also attacks on Mingachevir city that has a hydroelectric power station as well as on Khizi and Abheron region on the same day.
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