British oil giant BP shut down the second of the three pipelines it runs through Georgia yesterday – hours after Russia ended military operations against the former soviet state.
BP, part of a 10-strong consortium, that runs a series of pipelines from the Caspian Sea into Georgia, said it cut production in one pipeline as a precautionary measure even though it had not been damaged.
BP closed the Western Route Export Pipeline, from Baku in Azerbaijan to the Georgian Black Sea port of Supsa, yesterday. It carries 90,000 barrels a day.
BP had earlier closed a second line, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline last Wednesday, which carries 1.2m barrels a day, after a fire.
The British oil giant said it is studying the situation and has no timetable for when the pipelines will reopen. Both pipelines account for one per cent of daily worldwide consumption. A spokesman for BP said that because it owns these pipelines as part of large consortia its sales have not been “materially affected.”
Oil in New York fell $1.23 to $113.97 a barrel, after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ended the campaign against Georgia after he said he had restored security for Russian citizens in South Ossetia, a disputed part of Georgia.
The International Energy Agency warned that the Georgia conflict threatens the strategic energy export corridor linking the Caspian and central Asia with western oil and gas markets. Transporting oil through this region was supposed to make the West less dependent on Russian oil.