Baku Supsa Oil Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Baku Supsa Oil Pipeline (Azeri: Bakı–Supsa neft kəməri), also known as the Western Route Export Pipeline and Western Early Oil Pipeline, is an idle oil pipeline running from Azerbaijan to Georgia.[1]


The pipeline originates at the Sangachal Terminal near Baku, Azerbaijan, and terminates at the Supsa Terminal, Georgia.[2]

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Project details

  • Operator: BP[3][1]
  • Owner: Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC)[1]
  • Parent company: BP (30.37%), SOCAR (25%), MOL (9.57%), INPEX (9.31%), Equinor (7.27%), ExxonMobil (6.79%), TPAO (5.73%), ITOCHU (3.65%), and ONGC Videsh (2.31%)[4][5]
  • Capacity: 115,000 bpd/ 5 mtpa,[6][7] 106,000 bpd[8]
  • Length: 837 km[9]
  • Diameter: 530 mm[9]
  • Status: Idle[10]
  • Start year: 1999[9]
  • Cost:
  • Financing:
  • Associated infrastructure: Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field

Capacity expansion

  • Operator: BP[3][1]
  • Owner: Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC)[1]
  • Parent company: BP (30.37%), SOCAR (25%), MOL (9.57%), INPEX (9.31%), Equinor (7.27%), ExxonMobil (6.79%), TPAO (5.73%), ITOCHU (3.65%), and ONGC Videsh (2.31%)[4][5]
  • Capacity: 35,000 bpd/1.5 mtpa[11][1][7]
  • Length: Capacity expansion only
  • Diameter: Capacity expansion only
  • Status: Idle[9][1][10]
  • Start year: 2002[11]
  • Cost:
  • Financing:
  • Associated infrastructure: Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field


Capacity expansion

Sources vary on the initial capacity of the pipeline from 100,000 bpd to 115,000 bpd.[6][7][8] After modernization of the pumping stations around 2002-2003, the capacity has been increased to 145,000-150,000 bpd.[11][1][7] Recent sources rate the capacity of the pipeline at 7[12]-7.5[9] mtpa (145,000-155,000 bpd).


The preparations for the pipeline's construction started in 1994. On 8 March 1996, the President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, and the President of Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze, agreed on the establishment of Baku–Supsa pipeline. The trilateral contract was signed between Azerbaijan International Operating Company, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and the Government of Georgia.[13] In the same year, the lead contract of the project was awarded to Kværner. The pipeline was completed in 1998, and an inauguration ceremony occurred on 17 April 1999. The total cost of the construction of the pipeline and terminal were US$556 million.

Oil shipments over the pipeline were halted on 21 October 2006 after abnormalities were revealed during an inspection of the pipeline.[7] Subsequent repair and replacement efforts included replacing and re-routing pipeline sections near Zestaponi in Georgia and the Kura River crossing in Azerbaijan. Also several defects of the Soviet-era pipeline sections were repaired. In total, the repair work cost US$53 million. Oil shipments resumed in June 2008.[14]

After a major explosion and fire, which closed the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline on 6 August 2008, the Baku–Supsa Pipeline was used to re-route Azeri oil deliveries.[15] On 12 August 2008, BP closed the pipeline temporarily for the safety reasons because of the South Ossetia conflict.[16] In the summer of 2012, the pipeline was down a month for a maintenance.[17]

In July 2015 Russian troops demarcating the de facto border of the self-proclaimed Republic of South Ossetia pushed forward the border line near the village of Orchosani,[18] thereby taking control over a short length of the pipeline. [19] Analysts suggest that this was a Russian reaction to dissuade Georgia from making further moves towards joining NATO. [20] While conceding that the pipeline might need to be diverted in the future, SOCAR VP of investments and marketing Elshan Nasirov reportedly denied any near-term need for concern. [21]

The pipeline was halted in spring 2022 due to the absence of tankers at Supsa terminal.[9] The pipeline can start operating as soon as applications for shipping the oil from the Supsa terminal are received and tankers are dispatched.[10]

Theft and Spills

In 2014 the pipeline was the target of two illegal taps in Georgia, including one that resulted in more than 12,000 liters of oil spilling.[22]

In 2016 a kilometer-long underground pipeline was used to tap into the Baku Supsa pipeline and transport oil to a makeshift terminal in Ruisi, where it was stored in large tanks and then loaded into trucks and camouflaged as vegetables and sent to a makeshift refinery in Tbilisi.[23]

Technical features

The Baku–Supsa pipeline is a refurbished Soviet-era pipeline with several newly built sections. It has six pumping stations and two pressure reduction stations in western Georgia. The four storage tanks at the Supsa terminal have a total capacity of 160,000 cubic meters.[24]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "Azerbaijan 2021 – Analysis - IEA". IEA. Retrieved 2023-02-06.
  2. "WREP Sectional Replacement Project, Georgia Environmental and Social Impact Assessment. Chapter 1" (PDF). 2016. Retrieved 2023-02-07. {{cite web}}: line feed character in |title= at position 44 (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Азербайджан планирует возобновить прокачку нефти по нефтепроводу Баку-Супса" (in русский). Retrieved 2023-02-06.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "SOCAR and BP-operated AIOC sign principles of agreement on future development of the ACG oil field in Azerbaijan to 2050 | News and insights | Home". bp global. Retrieved 2023-02-06.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Azerbaijan marks 28th anniversary of Contract of Century". Report News Agency. Retrieved 2023-02-06.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "7.2 AIOC - Current Developments". Retrieved 2023-02-07.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "Oil pumping by Baku-Supsa pipeline to resume in May". Today.Az. 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "bp in Azerbaijan | Who we are | Home". Azerbaijan. Retrieved 2023-02-07.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 "Прокачка нефти по Баку-Супса остановлена с весны из-за отсутствия заявок на отгрузку в Супсе - BP". 2022-07-18. Retrieved 2023-02-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Baku-Supsa oil pipeline ready to resume pumping at any moment - BP". Retrieved 2023-02-06.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Мощность нефтепровода Баку-Супса будет увеличена до 155 тыс. барр. в сутки". 2002-11-20. Retrieved 2023-02-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. "Азербайджан планирует возобновить эксплуатацию нефтепровода Баку-Супса". РИА Новости (in русский). 20221024T1429. Retrieved 2023-02-07. {{cite news}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. "Transport routes of Azerbaijani oil (Baku-Novorossiysk, Baku-Supsa)". Azerbaijan Portal. Retrieved 2008-06-08. {{cite news}}: |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help)
  14. "Baku-Supsa pipeline to be launched after repair". Today.Az. 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
  15. "BP diverts Ceyhan crude as fire still burns". Upstream Today. 2008-08-07. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  16. "BP shuts in Georgia links". Upstream Today. 2008-08-12. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  17. "BP resumes oil flows via Baku-Supsa pipeline". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
  18. In Business Insider, Orchosani is named as the village near the 'lost' section of pipeline
  19. "EU warning over Russia 'land grab' in South Ossetia border row". BBC. 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2015-08-09.
  20. Jamestown analysis of Russia's reasoning
  21. SOCAR: Azerbaijan can deliver oil to Supsa port via alternative routes, APA, 15 Jul. 2015
  22. Oil pipeline threats add to pressure on Azerbaijan, S&P Global Platts, 25 Aug. 2015
  23. Is This The Most Intricate Oil Theft Operation Yet? Oil Price, 23 Mar. 2016.
  24. "Supsa Terminal and Pipeline, Georgia / Azerbaijan". Hydrocarbons Technology. Retrieved 2008-06-08.

Related articles

External resources

External articles

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