ISTANBUL - TDN with wire dispatches
The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, or BTC, pipeline, which transports oil from Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey's Mediterranean coast, will be fully operational within �a few days,� the Turkish Energy Ministry told Bloomberg.
�British Petroleum and partners have started testing the 1,768-kilometer line following repairs to damage caused by a fire on Aug. 5,� Akif Sam, spokesman for the Energy Ministry in Ankara, said by telephone yesterday.
�We expect petrol flows through the pipeline to return to a completely normal level,� he said.
Meanwhile the first cargo of Azerbaijani crude oil will be loaded at Ceyhan on Aug. 25 and 26 following the restart of the BTC pipeline, trading sources told Reuters yesterday.
British Petroleum and partners had to reduce production at oil fields in the Azerbaijani part of the Caspian Sea after pumping halted through the pipeline, which has a capacity of 1 million barrels a day, or about 1 percent of the world's supply.