TODAY.AZ / Politics

Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export oil pipeline is opened now

26 May 2005 [16:54] - TODAY.AZ
Solemn opening ceremony of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export oil pipeline's part passing through in Azerbaijan took place in Sangachal terminal.
The ceremony brought together President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Turkey Ahmad Nejdet Sezer, President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, the USA Energy Minister John Bolman, European Commission commissar on energy Andris Pelvaks, York Duke Andrew I, president of "bp" company John Brown, president of "bp-Azerbaijan" oil company David Woodward, government representatives from about 30 foreign countries, heads of foreign embassies, international organizations, government members, deputies of Milli Majlis (parliament), local and foreign journalists.

President Ilham Aliyev welcomed the ceremony by addressing first. He thanked to all participants for attending in the opening part of the BTC in Azerbaijan. "The step taken by Heydar Aliyev signing the contract of century in 1994 founded the starting of oil strategy. Heydar Aliyev signed contracts and Azerbaijan state started oil production together with foreign companies. More than 10 years have passed since that and these matters found their solutions. Great capital was invested to this sphere after Azerbaijan began to work with the foreign companies in Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. The economic development in our country shows that, despite of artificial obstacles to this work, the oil strategy was of great importance. As the result of economical reforms, economy increases 10% every year. Industrial production increased15%, gross domestic product increased 18% during the first four months of this year. Economic increase tempo will strengthen more by the end of this year".

Head of state said that, measures in the non-oil sector were implemented successfully in the frame of "State program on socio-economic development of regions" signed last year. "I can say with great feeling of pride that, more than 200 thousand job places have been opened during that period and non-oil sector shares the majority of these. These measures need wise man in order to be implemented. The achievements gained are the result of the measures done by means of the oil contracts. The oil strategy gave great impulse to the development of Azerbaijan and our country has developed. I am confident that, Azerbaijan will become the most powerful country as the result of this. We have no direct entrance to the world market due to the geographical position of Azerbaijan, though we produce oil. The oil produced in the Caspian Sea is entering to the world market via Baku-Novorossiysk and Baku-Supsa oil pipelines".

President thanked every one, every state granting great support for the realization of this grand project. "This project has great role in the solution of security problems in the region. As you know, more than 20% of our territories were occupied as the result of aggression of Armenia to Azerbaijan and we have more than 1 million refugees. We believe that, these disasters will be removed in near future. Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline is the guarantee of security, the biggest energy project of the world."

As the result of friendly relations between Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia we achieved construction of this pipeline. One of the problems at present is utilizing the income to be obtained in the result of the pipeline's exploitation. On the initiative of the nationwide leader of our nation Heydar Aliyev the State Oil Fund was formed and as a result of this, the income obtained from oil is entered this fund. The citizens of the country see this transparent work and the income obtained from oil are divided fairly.

The state head said that the support of USA had played a great role in realizing BTC project. "The works in this field had been realized on the account of the USA support since 1994. I can note that USA is holding efficient works in Azerbaijan and presence of the USA energy minister here is the sign of the attention paid to this project. I specially note the work done by the president of the "bp" company Lord Braun. I express my gratitude to all companies who worked in realizing of the oil strategy. They trust Azerbaijan. If they do not trust Azerbaijan, then would not invest Azerbaijan by 10 billions of dollars. I also congratulate the associates of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan in putting into operation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline". The president congratulated the citizens of Azerbaijan Turkey and Georgia starting the work of the project.

Then the president of Turkey participating in the ceremony said that he was very proud of taking part in the opening ceremony of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. "I can note with proud that this project realized under the leadership of late Heydar Aliyev will be the greatest work to stimulate the economic development in the region. This measure is big and memorable. Transferring 1 million barrels of oil daily and 50 million tons of oil yearly will be the main factor to stimulate the economic development of our countries. Crossing of one part of the Baku-Tbilisi Ceyhan oil pipeline from the territory of Turkey will stimulate the development of our country both from the energetically and economical points of view".

The president of Georgia Mikahil Saakashvili congratulated all the participants of the measure and the leaders of the supporter countries on the occasion of realizing of the project founded some years before. "The Georgian state played a role of the transit country between Europe and Asia during the historical period. The Georgia becomes such a country at present that the biggest energy companies of the world are interested in Georgia as the providers of energetic security. 239 kilometers of the pipeline cross from the Georgian territory, our country plays a significant role in transferring of the Caspian oil to Europe. We are already working on the joint Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey railway line project. We want to avoid the status of a closed country. We also want to avoid the closed mentality formed for long years in our country. Working on the joint projects will create opportunities for this". The president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev participating in the measure also congratulated the participants on the occasion of the putting into operation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. "The bridge opened to the world from the east of the Caspian Sea is related with the name of Heydar Aliyev. We saw how he had tried to realize this project. It is a happy case that Ilham Aliyev is continuing these efforts of Heydar Aliyev.

Kazakhstan watches the success of the brother country with happiness. Kazakhstan has 60 billion barrels of oil reserve, we will produce 150 million barrels of oil in 2005. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline which we gathered in the opening ceremony will play a significant role in exporting this oil to the world market. We consider this pipeline as an important element of the geopolitical collaboration".

Then the duke of York  Andrew I, the energetic minister of USA John Bolman, the commissar on the energetic problems of the European Commission Andris Pelvaks, the president of the "bp" company lord Jonh Braun, the president of SOCAR Natig Aliyev, the president of the "bp-Azerbaijan" company David Woodward spoke about the importance of the realized projects. The ambassador of France in our country Rolan Blatman brought the congratulation letter of the president Jacque Chirac into consideration of the participants of the measure, and the deputy of the fuel and energetic minister of Ukraine Alexei Linchenko brought the congratulation letter of the president Yushshenko into the consideration of the participants of the measure.

Then the letter of the prime-minister of Great Britain Tony Blair addressed President Ilham Aliyev, was read. The general secretary of Norway Olaf Ulset, the ambassador of Japan in our country Tadahira Abe congratulated the countries participated in the project on the occasion of the putting into operation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline on behalf of their countries.

At the end of the measure "The Baku Declaration about developing the East-West energetic transport entrance" was signed. The foreign affairs minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammedyarov, the foreign affairs minister of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili, the foreign affairs minister of Kazakhstan Gasimjomard Tokayev, the USA energetic minister John Bolman, the Turkey energetic minister Hilmi Guler signed the document.

Then 'The joint declaration about the new combining railway project between the Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey Republics" was signed. The president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the president of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili, and the president of Turkey Ahmad Nejdet Sezer signed the declaration. After the signing ceremony the presidents participated in the ceremony of filling in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline with primary oil.



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