Oil and Gas Pipeline Watch

By DANIEL GRAEBER, UPI Correspondent

BTC flow to resume in days.

The flow of oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline will resume in a matter of days, the Turkish energy minister said.


A fire on a portion of the pipeline in eastern Turkey temporarily halted activity Aug. 6. A military conflict between Russian and Georgian forces over the breakaway republic of South Ossetia erupted in the following days.

Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said oil transport through the BTC pipeline would resume within the next few days, the Trend Capital News Agency reported. The statement comes as Russian military forces began pulling out of Georgia.

Guler noted the fire on the Turkish portion of the 1,100-mile pipeline was an act of terrorism. The separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party claimed responsibility for the event.

The BTC pipeline carries 1 percent of the world's oil.

Baku-Supsa oil pipeline to remain closed.


The contractor at the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli oil field in Azerbaijan said Monday there are no plans to open the Baku-Supsa pipeline, because of conflict in Georgia.

BP Azerbaijan, the majority shareholder in the pipeline, said it had made no decision on the status of Baku-Supsa, the Azerbaijan Business Center reported.

"No operations are conducted at the pipeline," BP Azerbaijan said in a statement.

The Azerbaijan International Operating Co. resumed delivery through the 520-mile oil pipeline in May following a major repair project that began in 2006.

Operators shut the pipeline down because of the conflict between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway republic of South Ossetia.

Natural gas deliveries through the South Caucasus Pipeline from the Shah Deniz natural gas field in Azerbaijan through Georgia and onto Turkey were also shut down for two days because of the conflict.

Nabucco oversupplied, officials say.

The Nabucco pipeline from Turkey to Austria is 100 percent overbooked by potential suppliers, the Nabucco Gas Pipeline International consortium said.

The planned $11.6 billion, 2,050-mile natural gas pipeline is seen as a means to diversify European markets away from Russian suppliers.

Nabucco Gas Pipeline International conducted a market survey of potential suppliers. The survey shows the capacity is more than 100 percent overbooked, the industry reporting agency Europetrole said.


"This result is a strong positive signal from the European gas market and potential shippers to Nabucco," said Nabucco Director Reinhard Mitschek. "More than 100 percent overbooking from day one in 2013 shows huge demand for the provided Nabucco capacities on a strong growing gas market."

Both Europe and the United States support the project. When completed, the pipeline will carry about 1.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year.

Russian oil terminal under way.

Russian port officials in Kozmino Bay in the Russian Far East said work began on the pouring of the foundation for an oil terminal to feed the Eastern Siberian pipeline.

Workers began dredging Kozmino Bay to open shipping lanes and started laying the foundations for 10 reservoirs with a 1.7 million-cubic-foot capacity.

The first stage of the Kozmino oil terminal will be completed by late 2009 and will boast a 115 million-barrel-per-year export capacity.

Japanese ministers met with Russian Port Director General Lev Panchenko to assess progress at the port, which marks the terminal stages of the 2,900-mile Eastern Siberian-Pacific Ocean oil pipeline, Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported.

The first stage of the pipeline will have a capacity of 617 million barrels of oil per year. Construction on a final, 1,300-mile section of the pipeline will be commissioned by as early as 2015.


Lebanon seeks Egyptian natural gas.

Lebanon may seek a deal to import natural gas from Egypt through the Arab Gas Pipeline to ease a mounting energy crisis, officials said.

Lebanon suffers from frequent blackouts. Its domestic energy production is about 65 percent of what is needed by the country.

The Arab Gas Pipeline feeds several Middle Eastern countries from Egypt. There are plans to extend the pipeline to Iraq and onto Turkey, Beirut's English-language daily, Ya Libnan, said.

"We are coordinating our efforts with (Egyptian) Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and the relevant ministers in Egypt in order to enable Egyptian electricity and gas to reach Lebanon as soon as possible," Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said.

Lebanese Energy Minister Alain Tabourian said the country needs about $2 billion worth of repairs to its electrical grid.


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