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BP says BTC pipeline through Georgia has reopened

British oil company BP PLC said Monday it has reopened the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which runs through conflict-stricken Georgia
/ Source: The Associated Press

British oil company BP PLC said Monday it has reopened the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which runs through conflict-stricken Georgia

BP spokesman Toby Odone said the BTC line began operating normally Monday morning.

The pipeline, which provides some 1 million barrels per day of Caspian Sea crude to international markets, had been closed for more than two weeks after a fire on its Turkish stretch. Kurdish rebels claimed responsibility for the blaze.

The pipeline is owned by a consortium of energy companies led by BP, which owns a 30.1 percent stake. The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan owns 25 percent. Chevron, Total and ConocoPhillips all have smaller stakes.

BP's ability to export Caspian oil had been seriously curtailed by both the fire on the BTC line and the Russian military actions in Georgia.

The London-based company shut down its Baku-Supsa oil pipeline — which runs through the center of Georgia from Baku in Azerbaijan to Supsa on Georgia's Black Sea coast — on August 12 because of security concerns. Odone said Monday that the line, which has the capacity to pump up to 150,000 barrels a day, but had recently been pumping around 90,000 barrels a day, remains closed.