Kazakhstan Delays BTC Pipeline Start-Up Amid Force Majeure at Ceyhan Terminal

(Reuters) — Kazakhstan's state energy company Kazmunaigaz has postponed the start of oil exports from the giant Tengiz oilfield via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline after BP Azerbaijan declared force majeure on oil loadings from Ceyhan, four market sources said on Friday.

"Force majeure was declared in Ceyhan, and (Tengiz) crude supplies to BTC were put on hold," a market source said.

RELATED: BP Azerbaijan Declares Force Majeure on Crude Loadings from Turkey's Ceyhan Port

Kazakhstan's state-owned Kazmunaigaz (KMG) planned to begin oil shipments in February via the BTC pipeline from its share in Tengizchevroil (TCO), which it co-owns with U.S. oil major Chevron and other shareholders.

The company expected to ship up to 120,000 tonnes of crude across the Caspian Sea from the port of Aktau to Baku for transshipment to BTC pipeline.

Azeri crude oil exports from Turkey’s Ceyhan port remain halted after sustaining earthquake damage, BP Azerbaijan said on Thursday, while Azeri crude oil continued to flow there via a pipeline.

Damage assessment and repairs are underway at Turkey's Ceyhan oil terminal, an official and an industry source said on Friday, four days after the earthquake, adding that exports from the BTC pipeline could resume from Sunday unless problems are found.

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