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US Energy Secretary Bodman Hails Opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline

May 25, 2005 - 12:53pm

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US National Energy Policy Listed BTC Pipeline as Important for Global Energy Security

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN -- US Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman today represented the United States at ceremonies here to open the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline, a $2.9 billion East-West transport corridor that will increase the amount of oil exported from the region, and will provide a new oil delivery route -- from Azerbaijan, through Georgia, to Turkey and onward, for delivery to world markets.  The pipeline is the first direct link between the landlocked Caspian Sea and the Mediterranean, and is noted for its financial and technical complexity as well as the expanded energy independence it provides to the region. 

"The BTC Pipeline's completion means that a more Caspian oil can reach global markets faster, and in a commercially viable and environmentally safe manner.  The BTC pipeline strengthens both global and regional energy security by increasing the flow of oil to market," Secretary Bodman said.  "This remarkable project is a singular achievement for the governments and the peoples of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia, as well as the consortium of US and foreign private companies that made this dream a reality." 

The BTC Pipeline, when fully operational, will be able to transport one million barrels of oil per day and will play an important role in Azerbaijan's economic development by adding to the country's job growth, economic expansion and energy independence.

Opening the BTC pipeline is listed as one of the recommendations in President Bush's National Energy Policy.  Current oil exports from the region are limited by too few commercial export routes, or hindered by maritime risks in the crowded Bosporus Straits.  An operational BTC pipeline eases both situations considerably, allowing oil exports from the region to grow substantially. 

While in Baku, Secretary Bodman will also hold bilateral energy discussions with Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Mikhail Saakashvili, President of Georgia; Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan; and with Turkish Energy Minister, Hizmi Guler.

Secretary Bodman's visit to Baku is the second stop in a three-nation trip that earlier took him to Moscow, Russia, and will next travel to Kiev, Ukraine.  In those countries, the Secretary was to hold discussions with senior officials on a variety of energy and nuclear safety issues, including encouraging the development of diverse energy resources, promoting market transparency and investment, and advancing nuclear nonproliferation.

Media contacts:
Anne Womack Kolton, 202/586-4940 
Drew Malcomb, 202/586-5806

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