BP to go Ahead With $2.9 Billion Pipeline

BP, Europe's second biggest oil company, and its partners have agreed to build a $2.9 billion pipeline across Turkey to move Caspian Sea oil to world markets, ending more than eight years of debate over the issue.

The partners, which include Eni SpA of Italy, Statoil of Norway and Unocal of the US, have completed all the agreements to start construction and will make a final decision later this month, project director Philip Allison said at a conference in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The 1,090-mile line, the most expensive of three possible routes, will link fields containing as much as 40 billion barrels of oil with the Mediterranean Sea port of Ceyhan. The US backed the Azerbaijan to Turkey route to avoid sending crude through Iran. Turkey opposed a rival pipeline through Russia to the Black Sea, which would increase tanker traffic in the Bosporus strait.

“It's a major construction exercise, and it's the biggest pipeline BP has ever built,” Allison said.

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