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BTC pipeline reopens following fire scare

01 October 2008

BP reopened the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline on the 25th August 2008 allowing oil exports to resume.

Railway bridges that Georgia claimed had been bombed by Russia have been repaired, further increasing the routes to transport oil to the West, as well as reducing the temporary heightened reliance on the Middle East and Russia. However, the Baku-Supsa pipeline has remained closed following a blockade by Russian warships.

BP has denied claims that Russia attempted to blow up the pipeline during the brief war. Russia invited Azerbaijan to ship additional oil through a pipeline from Baku to the Russian Black Sea as soon as fighting in Georgia erupted.

Georgia pipelines avoid both Russia and Iran, yet Russian owned Gazprom is trying to persuade Azerbaijan to use Russian export routes as an alternative to the planned Nabucco pipeline. Nabucco is being designed to bypass Russia and ship gas to Europe by 2013. However, Russia is retaliating with a pipeline of its own called South Stream. The South Stream gas pipeline will pass under the Black Sea to Bulgaria and then split into two onshore routes, to Italy and Central Europe.

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