BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 25 (UPI) -- The government of Azerbaijan said it would increase the capacity of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline to its maximum capacity in 2009.
"Next year the pipeline will reach its design capacity and start exporting 50 million tons (350 million barrels) of oil a year," said Azeri President Ilham Aliyev.
Nearly 137 million barrels of oil departed the Turkish port of Ceyhan in the first half of 2008 with oil from the 1,099-mile BTC pipeline.
Directors for the consortium managing the pipeline agreed in March to boost production to 1.2 million barrels per day at a cost $70 million, the Azerbaijan Business Center reported Friday.
The BTC crude oil pipeline delivers oil from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil field in the Caspian Sea to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.