Processing Magazine

BP says Azeri oil railway line out of action

August 18, 2008

British oil company BP PLC has stopped using a railway line that exports Azeri oil through Georgia following reports of damage to the line, the Associated Press reports. The closure of the railway line that runs from the capital of Tbilisi through the city of Gori before splitting in three to head to the ports of Batumi and Poti on the Black Sea and a location just shy of the Turkish border, further limits BP''s options to export Caspian oil through the troubled region. Georgian officials accused Russia of blowing up a key railway bridge on the line on Saturday, severing the country''s main east-west rail route. Officials later vowed to restore the link within a week. The problems on the railway line compound BP''s decision last week to shut down its Baku-Supsa oil pipeline -- which runs through the center of Georgia from Baku in Azerbaijan to Supsa on Georgia''s Black Sea coast -- because of security concerns. BP has not indicated when it might restart the Baku-Supsa line, which had only reopened a few weeks ago after 18 months of inaction. It has the capacity to pump up to 150,000 barrels a day, but has recently been pumping around 90,000 barrels a day.