August 25, 2008 / 8:09 AM / 9 years ago

First BTC pipeline loading seen on Monday or Tuesday

2 Min Read

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Loading of oil from the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline will begin either on Monday or Tuesday for the first time since it was shut after an explosion earlier this month, a Turkish energy ministry source told Reuters.

The one-million barrel per day pipeline is expected to be working at full capacity on Tuesday, said the senior official.

Major shareholder in the pipeline BP (BP.L) said previously that the oil link, which brings the equivalent of more than 1 percent of world supply from fields in the Azeri part of the Caspian Sea to Ceyhan in Turkey, would be reopened this week.

The closure of the pipeline, after an explosion on the line in Turkey on August 5, caused members of the BTC consortium to declare force majeure on exports from Ceyhan, freeing them from contractual obligations.

Kurdish separatist guerrillas claimed responsibility for the explosion, although Turkish energy and military officials said they doubted the blast was caused by sabotage.

London-based BP (BP.L) owns 30.1 percent of BTC, while Azeri state energy firm Socar holds 25 percent.

Other shareholders include U.S. oil companies Chevron (CVX.N) and ConocoPhillips (COP.N), Norway's StatoilHydro (STL.OL), Italy's ENI (ENI.MI) and France's Total (TOTF.PA).

Reporting by Orhan Coskun, Editing by Peter Blackburn

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