Azerbaijan: Baku pipeline 70% complete, ready by next January

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has announced the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline is 70% complete and should be all done by January of next year.

Speaking at a conference at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington Mammadyarov said, “Seventy percent of the [BTC] pipeline has already been laid and the first shipment of oil is expected in the second quarter of the next year.”

“The construction work in Azerbaijan and Georgia [has] been mostly completed and major part of the work should now be done in Turkey. After the end of the construction, three months [will] be necessary to fill the pipeline with oil before its transportation to the Turkish port of Ceyhan,” he added.

The Minister was keen to stress the matter of security concerning the project and said plans were in place to ensure the pipeline would be safe from sabotage or terrorist attacks.

“The Azerbaijani government [has] set up a special commission to guarantee the security of the pipeline system. The commission's task is to determine how to guarantee the security of oil terminals,” said Mammadyarov.