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Deputy Secretary Leads U.S. Delegation to Turkey

July 13, 2006 - 3:02pm

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Hails International Cooperation on BTC Pipeline Completion

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Energy Deputy Secretary Clay Sell today led a United States delegation to the official completion ceremony of the Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline in Ceyhan,Turkey.  The BTC pipeline, now operational, carries one-million barrels of Caspian oil daily to the global markets faster in an environmentally safe manner.  The completion of the pipeline signifies substantial cooperation between the nations of Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan and strong efforts by a private sector consortium to implement this project.

"The United States congratulates the leaders of Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan - as well as the private sector partners - for their dedication to this project, which increases the amount of oil exported from the region to supply the global oil market," Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell said.  "The BTC pipeline is a noteworthy example of international cooperation that provides both economic and political benefits to producing and transit nations."

The BTC pipeline, noted for its technical complexity, transports crude oil from the Azeri-Chirag-Gunesli oil field in the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea for distribution to international oil and gas markets. The pipeline provides the Central Asian region with significant export infrastructure and will allow oil exports from the region to grow substantially.  President Bush's National Energy Policy recommended providing international assistance to open the BTC pipeline.

Deputy Secretary Sell's participation in the official completion ceremony of the BTC marks the second of a three day trip to Turkey.  On Wednesday, Deputy Secretary Sell held energy discussions with President of Azerbaijani Ilham Aliyev, President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, Turkish Minister for Energy and Natural Resources Mehmet Hilmi Guler, and Energy and Mineral Resources Minister of Kazakhstan Baktykozha Izmuhkambetov.   

In meetings with senior officials, Deputy Secretary Sell discussed the importance of cooperation among the Central Asian nations on the development of oil and gas resources and the requisite transport infrastructure.  Deputy Secretary Sell also encouraged the nations to support economic and regulatory reforms that attract investment, stimulate competition, and are market-based, which include recognizing the sanctity of contracts and providing for predictable tax and regulatory structures.

On Friday, Deputy Secretary Sell will meet with U.S. and Turkish business leaders to discuss short and long term goals and objectives for increasing trade relations between the U.S. and Turkey.  The U.S. delegation will also tour the Bosporus Straits, one of the world's busiest waterways and a major export route for oil production.

Media contact(s):

Megan Barnett, (202) 586-4940

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