Rail Bridge used for Oil transport blown up in Georgia
August 18, 2008
On-going series: Crisis in the Caucasus - 2008
The Russian / Georgian Conflict and Its Impact on Azerbaijan
BP forced to suspend shipments of 50,000 to 70,000 barrels per day from Azerbaijan to Georgia. The railway line extends from Tbilisi, through the Georgian town of Gori, before splitting into three offshoots that extend to the Black Sea ports of Poti and Batumi and southwest to a point just short of the Turkish border.
BP's only other export alternative currently, the Baku-Novorossiisk line, leaves the British company with an "unattractive option," according to analysts, as it requires the mixing of Azeri oil with lower-quality Russian Urals crude.
Because of the disruption to its export routes, the BP-led Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli oil fields in the Caspian have cut production to about 250,000 b/d from about 800,000 b/d.
Of more concern, however, closure of the export routes has raised worries of Russia attempting to reassert its control over the region, as took place in the Soviet era. In Georgia, that would mean Russian control of the existing pipelines, rail routes, and ports.
Georgian side is trying to reconstruct an old railway line to resume transportation of oil products from Azerbaijan to its ports, reports Day.Az with reference to ANS TV channel.