Baku-T’bilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline (BTC pipeline)

Despite huge resistance from local people and international NGOs, the BTC pipeline was inaugurated in May 2005

The BTC pipeline - history and current situation





Network of NGOs call for moratorium on pipeline

UK admits experimental engineering led to cracked pipeline

Turkish activist Ferhat Kaya arrested and beated by police for protesting against pipeline

BTC pipeline formally inaugurated

The BTC pipeline

The Baku-T’bilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline was built to carry oil from the Caspian to the Mediterranean Sea for shipment to the West. It is part of a network of pipelines BP is building in the region. The BTC pipeline was inaugurated on May 25, 2005, by the presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey at its start terminal near Baku.

The BTC pipeline met fierce resistance from local people and international NGOs because of the huge range of environmental and human rights risks entailed in the project. The project violates World Bank and EBRD regulations as well as Turkish laws and EIA objectives on a total of 173 counts.

In acquiring the land for the BTC pipeline, BP violated World Bank policies by using emergency powers to fast track the process. The project environmental and social impact assessment did not contain a clear outline of resettlement and compensation plans.

At one million barrels a day, the amount of carbon dioxide (a major greenhouse gas) produced in a year is equal to that produced by the entire power industry in the UK, making a significant contribution to global warming. [is this figure still accurate?]

How are ECAs involved

Financiers for the BTC pipeline include the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and several ECAs including the ECGD (UK), Hermes ( Germany), Coface ( France), SACE ( Italy), US Ex-Im (USA) and JBIC ( Japan).

Recent developments

In 2011 the UK government ruled that the BP-led consortium broke international rules for multinational companies on human rights, over the BTC pipeline. The finding came eight years after a group of environmental and human rights groups filed a complaint, saying BP breached its loan agreements for the project.

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