BTC pipeline is cracking?
Certain errors have been committed during the wielding of parts of the BTC pipeline. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipe is cracking in the literal sense of the word.
UPI agency reports that cracks have appeared at the junction between the Georgian and the Azerbaijani sections of the pipeline, which worries international experts. "Cracks are appearing on a $3.6 billion pipeline, through which the first oil must be pumped in the nearest 2 months," -UPI reports.
It is true that the agency referring to Zaal Lomsadze, deputy minister of natural and environment protection of Georgia, observes that Georgian officials are sure that these cracks will not lead to environmental problems. Nevertheless, Georgian authorities have allocated money to define the reason for their appearance.
"We have discovered that the company constructing the oil pipeline has committed errors wielding the Azeri and Georgian parts. Although there isn't any environmental threat for now, the problem does exist," - he said.
In his turn, the oil company BP, which is the operator of the oil pipeline construction, UPI says, has stated that the oil pipeline has been constructed on a top quality level using the most updated technologies.
"We are not interested in an appearance of any threat from the BTC," - Russudan Medzmariashvili, director of BP press service in Georgia, said. She also noted that the cracks will not cause any oil spills. Nevertheless, the UPI observes that it can serve as a reason for a lawsuit.
Meanwhile, in Azerbaijan the news about the cracks at the junction between the Georgian and the Azerbaijani sections of the BTC pipeline provoked indignation.
Sattar Safarov, deputy of Milli Mejlis, member of permanent parliamentary commission for economic policies, stated to the "Echo" newspaper, that persons guilty of that incident had to answer before the law with all severity.
"The oil comes to the pipeline under high pressure. If the cracks had appeared before the oil was pumped into it, when there is no pressure in the pipe, we should not talk about the transportation at all," - he said.
He also added that the corresponding structures must investigate the case and punish the guilty, because the BTC pipe is extremely important for the countries participating in the project.
"The Echo" previously reported that militants of a number of NGO from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and UK were preparing a new mechanism to prevent the commissioning of the pipeline. We are talking about the "Friends of the Earth" campaign, whose main objective is to stop the pipeline. The BTC opponents require fundamental investigations on the pipeline environmental impact and on other social issues related with the BTC commissioning.
Let us note that "The Echo" has not managed to communicate with Maiz Gulaliyev, BTC opponent, who seeks to stop the pipeline. In her turn, Tammam Bayatly, press secretary of BP in Azerbaijan, has stated: "The BTC has been built up on the top quality level and there aren't any cracks at all." According to her, the BP is assured of its work and of the quality of its work.