Tankers to substitute for pipeline

BAKU (Reuters) – The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline will start supplying Caspian oil to European markets two weeks early under a plan to use tankers to fill its reservoirs, the head of Azeri state oil firm SOCAR said. SOCAR President Natik Aliyev said the pipeline’s owners, led by British oil major BP Plc, had decided to ship oil to the pipeline terminus at Ceyhan on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast to do the time-consuming job of filling the reservoirs there. That oil would be brought from the Baku-Supsa pipeline on the Black Sea, allowing the firm to fill the terminal without waiting for the slow progress of oil through the pipeline. The first supplies from the pipeline are expected to be shipped in mid-December.