BP To Sell Stake Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline

BP plans to sell a 2.5 percent stake in the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline to ConocoPhillips. BP will retain a 30.1 percent stake in the project and the operatorship. The pipeline, which is expected to begin operations in 2005, will ship Caspian oil to the Turkish Mediterranean coast. The cost of the project is $2.96 billion.

"We welcome ConocoPhillips' entry into the project as a further demonstration of its significance as a major future oil export route from the southern Caspian," said David Woodward of BP.

ConocoPhillips' representative in Baku-Ceyhan David Bairrington said: "The Caspian is of strategic importance to ConocoPhillips and we believe that our participation in the BTC project will further enhance our upstream portfolio in the region."

The consortium now includes SOCAR with 25 percent, Unocal with 8.9 percent, Statoil with 8.71 percent, TPAO with 6.53 percent, ENI and TotalFinaElf each with 5.0 percent, Itochu with 3.4 percent, INPEX with 2.5 percent and Delta Hess 2.36 percent.