MOSCOW, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- In a major turnaround of Russian policy, the country's largest oil producer has expressed interest in using the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan export pipeline.
AzerNews reported Thursday that Rosneft's President Sergei Bogdanchikov has told journalists his firm could benefit from transporting crude via BTC, commenting, "Turkey is the second-largest consumer of Russian fuel, next to Germany. If the project meets the economic interests of both sides, naturally, we will be able to export our oil through the BTC."
The State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijani Republic President Rovnag Abdullayev noted in turn, "Everything is possible. If a proposal is received, it could be considered, and even its realization in the future is possible."
The $3.6 billion, 1 million barrel per day, 1,092-mile BTC pipeline, which began operations in May 2005, pumps oil extracted from Azerbaijan`s major Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli fields in the Caspian Sea, as well as condensate produced at the offshore Shahdaniz field. Moscow had originally strongly opposed its construction, preferring that Azerbaijan continue to use the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline, which transits Russian territory.