First cargo from Supsa

April 9, 1999, 10:00 CEST

The first tanker-load of Azeri-Chirag crude carried by the western pipeline from Azerbaijan left the Georgian port of Supsa on 7 April.

Carrying almost 600,000 barrels of light crude from the Caspian field, the Italian-registered Agip Piemonte is heading for a Spanish refinery.

The oil has been marketed by BP Amoco, which owns the cargo together with Unocal, Turkish state oil company TPAO and Saudi Arabia's Delta Khazar (DKLO).

All these companies are members of the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC), which operates Azeri-Chirag. Statoil has an 8.56 per cent interest in the field.

Plans call for crude to be shipped from Supsa at roughly 10-day intervals. The first Statoil oil carried by the western pipeline, which starts at the Sangachal terminal near the Azeri capital of Baku, is due to be loaded in mid-May.