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BP to reopen pipeline in Georgia

Latest update : 2008-08-14

After having stopped pumping due to the Russian-Georgian conflict earlier this week, British energy giant BP said that it had resumed pumping gas into the South Caucasus pipeline in Georgia.

British energy giant BP said on Thursday that it had resumed pumping gas into the South Caucasus pipeline in Georgia and that the Baku-Supsa oil link remained shut.

"We are pumping gas again into the South Caucasus pipeline," a company spokesman told AFP.

On Tuesday, BP had stopped pumping into the South Caucasus pipeline (SCP), which snakes from Baku in Azerbaijan into Georgia and to the Turkish border, as a precautionary measure amid fighting between Russian and Georgian troops.

However, the high pressure inside the pipeline, which is also known as the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum (BTE) link, meant that gas supplies were still flowing this week.

"There was very little disruption" because gas remaining in the pipeline was still reaching Turkey, the BP spokesman added Thursday.

He added: "The Baku-Supsa pipeline remains suspended for the time being. It goes through the middle of the country.

"It's a different route from SCP so we're still assessing the security implications and that remains suspended."

BP had closed the Baku-Supsa line on Tuesday because of fighting in Georgia but had said that oil and gas supplies continued to flow from the Caspian Sea to the West by other routes.

Supply from the region is already being affected by the closure of the world's second-longest pipeline, the key Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil link, which BP also operates.

It was shut last week after a blast in a pump at a section in eastern Turkey. The fire was put out on Monday.

Georgia is not an oil producer but its conflict with Russia has raised concerns in the oil market because the country is a key transit point for crude oil and gas exports from Azerbaijan to energy-hungry Western markets.

Date created : 2008-08-14

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