btcThe transportation of oil to the global markets is one of the major trends of Heydar Aliyev's oil strategy. Great work was carried out for the implementation of the strategically important Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline project to ensure the transportation of oil to the global markets due to the protection of the national interests of Azerbaijan, the development of large-scale international economic cooperation and the increase of oil production in the country and the talks had a successful result. First the exact idea of the establishment of the main oil pipeline was determined at the Trabzon meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey on April 26, 1998. The three Presidents announced openly that Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan must the head export pipeline thus declaring the political decision on the implementation of the project. The first agreement on the said project was reached by the signing of the Ankara declaration supporting the establishment of the head export pipeline with the route Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan by the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and US Energy Minister in Ankara on October 29, 1998.
As the result of all that a contract on the transportation of crude oil by Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline via Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey was signed during the OSCE summit at Chyraghan Palace of Istanbul November 18, 1999. It was signed by H. Aliyev, E. Shevarnadze and S. Demirel. The Istanbul Declaration was signed between Azerbaijan (Heydar Aliyev), Turkey S. Demirel), Georgia (E. Shevarnadze), Kazakhstan (Nursultan Nazarbayev) and Turkmenistan (S. Niyazov) under the witness of the USA (B. Clinton) to support the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and to attract Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to the project. The construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline was initiated on the Sangachal terminal on September 18, 2002 as the logical continuation of this process. The ceremony was attended by three President-President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, President of Georgia E. Shevarnadze and President of Turkey A. N. Sezer and US representatives for the Caspian issues S. Mann. Thus, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, the major achievement of the new oil strategy worked out by national leader Heydar Aliyev, was on the point of coming into life.
The Azeri section of the BTC pipeline joined Georgian one in October of 2004.
Azerbaijan section of BTC was connected with Georgian section in October 2004. The first oil that was pumped from the Baku end of the pipeline reached Ceyhan on 28 May 2006, and the first tanker sailed on 4 July. The inauguration ceremony of the largest energy project - Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline named after Heydar Aliyev in 21st century was held at Ceyhan terminal on 13 July 2006.
The 1,774 kilometres long pipeline that starts at the Sangachal Terminal and terminates at the Ceyhan Marine Terminal on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, costs 4 billion dollars. The project was operated by BP. The project comprises the following shareholders: BP (30.1%), SOCAR (25%), UNOCAL (8.9%), Staoil (8.71%), TRAO (6.53%), ENI (5%), TotalFinaElf (5%), Itochu (3.4%), Inpex (2.5%), ConocoPhillips (2.5%) and Amerada Hess (2.36%). The pipeline has the annual capacity of 50 million tons. At present, it is possible to transport 60 million barrels per year.
Baku-Tbilisi Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline carries oil from the Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli (ACG) field and condensate from Shah Deniz across Azerbaijan,
Moreover, Turkmen oil have transported via Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline. From October 2013, the BTC pipeline again has begun to transport crude oil from Tengiz field of Kazakhstan at certain amounts.
Since the BTC pipeline became operational in June 2006 till the end of 2016, it carried a total of about 2.61 billion barrels (around 349 million tonnes) of crude oil, and the oil was loaded on 3,425 tankers in Ceyhan and sent to world markets.
In the future BTC will not only promote the access of Azeri oil to the global markets but will turn to the major pipeline of the Silk Road and Turkic countries. The selection of the direction of the pipeline was the result of the great policy of Heydar Aliyev and the pipeline will join the oil pipelines system as the artery of the world.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is of great importance in terms of economic, political and energy security for Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and the whole region, Europe and the world, and also prevents the overloading of Black Sea straights in Turkey. The great Shahdeniz gas condensate field was discovered in 1999 as the result of the successful conduction of the new oil strategy, the high level of investments in the oil industry and the application of modern technique and technology in the oil operations. The Shahdeniz field and BTC pipeline projects comprise SOCAR (Azerbaijan)-10%, Statoil (Norway)-25.5%, BP (Great Brotain), TotalFinaElf (France)-10%, LukAcip (Russia Italy)-10%), OLIK (Iran)-10%, TPAO (Turkey)-9%. The discovery of the Shahdeniz gas field created conditions for the development of gas industry in Azerbaijan and transformation of the country into one exporting gas along with oil in the 21st century. During the official visit of the President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev to Turkey, Azerbaijan and Turkey signed a contract on the sales and purchase of the natural gas of Azerbaijan on March 12, 2001. Azerbaijan and Georgia signed a contract on the transit, sales and transportation of natural gas via Georgia was signed on September 29 of 2001.
On 3 July 2007, natural gas produced from the “Shah Deniz” gas condensate field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea has entered Turkey's gas pipeline system via the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline.
In addition to the technical and economic significance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipelines, their political role is also great. Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipelines have ensured peace and stability in the region, security, strengthening of the position of our countries by bringing Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, and our nations close together.






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