Statoil Says Funding in Place for BTC Pipeline

The final finance package for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline was signed at an official ceremony on February 3rd.

Fifty percent of the work has been completed on this 1,760 kilometer transport system, which will carry Caspian crude from Azerbaijan via Georgia to the Mediterranean coast of Turkey.

Capable of carrying a million barrels of oil per day to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, this line is due to be ready to start exporting in 2005.

Staged in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, today's ceremony marked the completion of agreements covering third-party financing for the BTC project.

The deal was signed by representatives of the governments in the three host countries and of the BTC lender group.

Embracing 208 documents, the finance package involves more than 17,000 signatures from 78 different parties.

The pipeline will cost US $2.95 billion to build, with about 30 percent of this total covered by equity contributions and the remainder by third-party funding. Construction is now under way at 17 different locations in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, with more than 12,000 people currently engaged on the project in these three countries.

In addition to Statoil with 8.71 percent, the BTC shareholders are BP with 30.1 percent, Socar 25 percent, Unocal 8.9 percent, TPAO 6.53 percent, ENI five percent, Total five percent, Itochu 3.4 percent, Inpex 2.5 percent, ConocoPhillips 2.5 percent and Amerada Hess 2.36 percent.
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