The South Caucasus Pipeline Company (SCPC) has announced the transfer of the technical operatorship of South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) from BP Exploration to SOCAR Midstream Operations, a subsidiary of SOCAR.

SCP is a 692km-long pipeline that transmits natural gas from the Shah Deniz field located in the Azeri Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey for distribution.

The pipeline commenced the delivery of gas to Azerbaijan and Georgia in September 2006, while delivery of gas to Turkey commenced in July 2007.

The transfer of the operatorship has been is carried out under the revised SCP Pipeline Owners’ Agreement, signed in December 2013, and is part of the final investment decision on the Shah Deniz Stage 2 and South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion (SCPX) projects.

In June 2018, BP and its partners announced the start-up of Shah Deniz 2, including its first commercial gas delivery to Turkey.

SOCAR and BP would work together to implement the transition process

The South Caucasus Pipeline is one of the major sections of the Southern Gas Corridor, and the agreement allows SOCAR to become the technical operator of SCP on the first anniversary of the SCPX construction completion date.

The transfer encompasses the operation of all dedicated SCP facilities in Azerbaijan and Georgia, while BP will continue operating the facilities that are common to both the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline and SCP, in its capacity as common operator.

Operatorship of the Sangachal Terminal, BTC or the Western Route Export Pipeline (WREP) will not be changed and continued to be operated by BP.

SOCAR president Rovnag Abdullayev said: “We have been the commercial operator of SCP since 2015, conducting all commercial operations of the pipeline on a high level. Now SOCAR takes over the technical operatorship of SCP as envisaged in the pipeline owners’ agreement.

“As an SCPC shareholder, we have always been pleased with the safety of SCP operations, which have been among the best in the industry. We would like to thank bp for their excellent partnership and operatorship.

“As the new technical operator we will use our successful international experience and work closely with all of our partners to sustain the high level of safety, reliability and environmental performance of SCP.”