By Ayya Lmahamad
Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has said that the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline must not be damaged amid the ongoing military clashes between Azerbaija and Armenia.
He noted that the projects of strategic importance that pass through the South Caucasus are of utmost importance, as these strategic objects are the guarantee of security of the region.
"It is very important for us that there is no military influence of any kind at these facilities. The oil pipeline is a very important facility, which plays an important role in energy security of the region, including the European Union, including," Zalkaliani said.
It should be noted that on October 6 Armenia attacked Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline that takes Azerbaijani oil to Western markets via Georgia and Turkey. Armenia fired a cluster rocket to Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline that landed 10 meters away from the pipeline. Over 300 cluster bomblets ejected around as a result of the attack.
Armenia has launched missile attacks targeting civilian settlements and infrastructure projects in Azerbaijan shortly after it resumed attacks near occupied Nagorno-Karabakh.
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.
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.
In 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.
In 2006, when Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline was put into operation, 57.7 million barrels of oil were transported via this pipeline. 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.
Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, which along with seven adjacent regions was occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and around one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
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