BP Declares Force Majeure on BTC's Oil Deliveries

LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), August 6, 2008

A BP PLC spokesman Wednesday confirmed Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, or BTC, had declared force majeure on deliveries going through its one-million-barrel-a-day oil pipeline.

BP operates and owns 30.1% of the route, at which throughput has averaged over 850,000 barrels a day in recent months. The pipeline, which starts on Azerbaijan's Caspian coast and ends in the Turkish port of Ceyhan, was shut down early Wednesday following a fire.

The force majeure means the pipeline operator may default on its contractual obligations to carry the oil from Azerbaijan.

However, a spokesman said exports continued for some customers, using storage in Ceyhan.

The spokesman said the company is cutting production from its Azerbaijani Shah Deniz and Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli fields, which deliver condensates and oil, respectively, to BTC.

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