TODAY.AZ / Business

Turkey loads first oil from Caspian pipeline onto tanker for Western markets

02 June 2006 [21:57] - TODAY.AZ
The first shipment of Caspian Sea oil from a newly-built pipeline in Turkey was loaded onto a tanker destined for Western markets Friday.

The shipment from Ceyhan, a Turkish port on the Mediterranean Sea, marks a crucial step in completing a project designed to create alternative oil routes to ease the West's dependence on Middle East crude, the Associated Press news agency reports.

The pipeline starts in Baku, Azerbaijan, runs through Tbilisi, Georgia, and then travels southwest through Turkey to Ceyhan.

Although it included oil from the Caspian pipeline, the bulk of the shipment was already stored at Ceyhan after having been brought in by tanker to test new storage tanks at the site several months ago, said oil officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The loading of some 600,000 barrels of Caspian crude onto the British Hawtharne began at 4:17 p.m. and was expected to take at least 12 hours.

The shipment was destined for the northwestern Italian port of Savona, officials said.

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