Environmental Group Brings Lawsuit Against BTC Pipeline

Georgia-based environmental group, Green Alternative, has been allowed by the Georgian District Court to proceed with a lawsuit against the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. The $3 billion pipeline will transport oil from Azerbaijan to Turkey via Georgia and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2004. A date for preliminary hearings has not been set.

The lawsuit alleges that Georgian government and foreign oil companies pressured the environment minister into approving the pipeline without an adequate assessment of the environmental impact of the project, or public hearings. Green Alternative claims the pipeline will damage the Borjomi-Kharaguali National Park. The suit names as defendants the Georgian government and members of the BP-led consortium, including ConocoPhillips, Statoil, Total, ENI, SOCAR, Unocal, TPAO, Itochu, Inpex and Delta Hess.