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BP-Led BTC Pipeline Shipped Less Azeri Crude in First Quarter

The BP Plc-led Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline shipped less oil from Azerbaijan in the first quarter as the country’s crude production declined.

The so-called BTC link carried 7.34 million metric tons of oil, down 7.4 percent from a year earlier, according to data published today on the website of State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan, or Socar, a partner in the project.

Oil output in the Caspian Sea nation, the largest crude producer in the former Soviet Union after Russia and Kazakhstan, dropped 3.6 percent in the first two months of 2013 from a year earlier, the State Statistics Committee said March 15. Production also fell in 2012, marking a second year of decline.

The 1,768-kilometer (1,100-mile) BTC link connecting Azerbaijan’s Caspian Sea coast with Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, via Georgia, also exported 317,981 tons of Turkmen oil in the first quarter, up 13 percent from a year earlier, according to Socar data.

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