Turkey losing money on BTC pipeline

April 15, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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ANKARA, Turkey, April 15 (UPI) -- Corporate disputes and capacity issues with the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline cost Turkey more than $200 million since 2007, energy officials said.

BTC stretches some 1,100 miles from Azerbaijan to Turkish ports on the Black Sea. It is the second-longest oil pipeline in the world after the Druzhba pipeline in Russia.

Turkey, however, has lost more than $200 million in the past three years because of disputes between Turkish pipeline operator BOTAS International Ltd. and BTC Co., the international consortium managing the pipeline, Turkish daily newspaper Today's Zaman reports.

A move by BTC to expand work in natural gas, BOTAS complains, costs the Turkish company "millions" of dollars, the report said citing anonymous energy officials.

BOTAS said it wants to be compensated for any loss from the pipeline, adding it wouldn't turn a profit until 2012 unless all issues were resolved.

Meanwhile, BTC hasn't operated at full capacity since at least 2007, costing Turkey around $165 million in potential oil-transit revenue.

Oil was pumped first through BTC in 2005. The pipeline was shut down briefly in 2008 because of a conflict between Russian and Georgia over breakaway republics.

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