The ceremony was attended by the Italian Minister for Economic Development, Pierluigi Bersani, the Turkish Minister for Energy & Natural Resources, Hilmi Guler, Eni's Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni, Calik Group Chairman Ahmet Calik and representatives from the international energy industry and business community.
The 555 km pipeline, to be built by TAPCO, the company jointly-owned by Eni and Calik Enerji, will initially transport 1 million barrels of oil per day, eventually reaching 1.5 million barrels per day. Eni and Calik expect the construction to be completed in approximately three years.
The pipeline, which will benefit from synergies with existing plants in Turkey, will transport oil from Russia and Kazakhstan to the Ceyhan oil export hub on the Mediterranean in a secure and cost-effective manner. The pipeline will give Turkey, and the port of Ceyhan in particular, a strategic role in the oil business.
The project will also improve safety in the Turkish Straits shipping lanes and contribute to environmental protection in this complex and delicate ecosystem. At the moment, the Turkish Straits bear annual traffic of approximately 750 million barrels of crude oil, a figure that is expected to rise to 1.2 billion barrels in the near future. Once the pipeline becomes operational, it will be possible to reduce oil tanker traffic in the straits by 50 percent
Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni said: "I am particularly pleased that Eni plays a key role in realizing this fundamental energy artery allowing our growing crude production in the Caspian region to reach European and world markets".
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