BTC to start functioning
By M. Alkhazashvili
Wednesday, August 27One of the major goals of the Russian aggression was to destroy Georgia’s function as a transit country and to take control of its pipelines. Of course Russia would not dare to directly bomb the pipeline, but the threat was there.
High ranking Russian official Alexander Dugin confirmed Russia’s intentions when he told a Turkish newspaper that the BTC pipeline was dead and would not function. However, this is not the case. The BTC pipeline suspended operations on August 5 due to an explosion in the Turkish segment. The subsequent reconstruction works lasted until August 11 and on August 20 the pumping of oil from Azerbaijan was restarted.
The BTC pipeline began functioning in July 2006 and pumps 1.2 million barrels of oil a day. Technically the pipeline is in a good shape but there are no watertight security guarantees as Russia’s moves are absolutely unpredictable.
Azerbaijan has suffered great loss due to the destruction of railway links in Georgia which has prevented the railway transportation of its oil. Several hundred tankers are waiting at the Azeri-Georgian border while the blown up bridge is reconstructed so they can continue their transit to Batumi port.