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Turkish Operator Reveals Oil Volume Supplied from Azerbaijan via BTC Pipeline Since 2006

By Nargiz Mammadli January 12, 2023

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According to data compiled by the U.S. government, Azerbaijan's proved oil reserves are estimated to be seven billion barrels, or about one billion metric tons. / Courtesy

Azerbaijan has once again reaffirmed its status of one of the reliable energy suppliers with over 4 billion barrels of crude oil exported to overseas markets via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline since its launch in 2006. 

The data has been revealed by Türkiye’s BOTAS International Limited (BIL), which operates the Turkish segment of the pipeline, including Heydar Aliyev Marine Terminal in the district of Ceyhan.

According to the report, 5,250 tankers carrying Azerbaijani oil were shipped to the world market through the terminal in Ceyhan between mid-2006 and late 2022. In 2022, a total of 305 tankers carrying slightly more than 224 million barrels of oil left Ceyhan.

Located on the western edge of the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan is rich in oil and natural gas. According to data compiled by the U.S. government, its proved oil reserves are estimated to be seven billion barrels, or about one billion metric tons. According to the State Customs Committee data, Azerbaijan exported a total of 24.3 million tons of crude oil to 29 overseas markets in Europe, Africa, and Asia in January-November of 2022, generating about $18.3 billion in incomes. Italy purchased the largest portion or 8.6 million tons of crude oil, followed by Israel, India, Croatia, Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom and others.

Baku-Tbilisi Ceyhan pipeline carries oil from the Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli (ACG) field and condensate from Shah Deniz field across Azerbaijan, Georgia and Türkiye. It links Sangachal terminal on the shores of the Caspian Sea to Ceyhan marine terminal on the Turkish Mediterranean coast. In addition, crude oil from Turkmenistan and some volumes of Tengiz crude oil from Kazakhstan are being transported through the BTC pipeline.

The Azerbaijani and Georgian segments of the pipeline are operated by BP.

The Sangachal terminal, located 45km away from Baku, covers an area of more than 688 hectares, which makes it one of the world's largest oil and gas terminals, and consists of two main parts: the Early Oil Project (EOP) and Sangachal Terminal Expansion Programme (STEP). The EOP part of the terminal has been constructed to process, store and export oil from the Chirag offshore field in the Caspian (the so-called Early Oil Project). This part of the terminal houses 4 crude oil storage tanks with a capacity of 25,500 barrels each and can process, store and export more than 6 million tonnes of crude oil per year.

STEP is the part of the terminal which has been expanded to receive, store and process oil from Azeri and Deepwater Gunashli sections of the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field and gas from the Shah Deniz field. It houses a number of facilities including 3 crude oil storage tanks with 880,000 barrels capacity each.

The main pumping station of the BTC pipeline is located at the Sangachal terminal ensuring the load of crude into the pipe destined for overseas markets.