First pipeline opens from Caspian Sea

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Caspian Sea, viewed from orbit.

Today marks the official opening of the first Caspian Sea oil pipeline, named the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. The $3.2 billion pipeline travels through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, bringing crude oil from the Caspian Sea to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The United States is heavily backing the pipeline, hoping to use the oil output from the pipeline without passing by Russian pipelines. The pipeline also enables the United States to avoid purchasing oil from Iran.

The countries who are involved in the pipeline are hoping to increase revenues from the pipeline, which is expected to ship up to 1 million barrels a day.

The countries are also concerned with the high likelihood of the underground pipeline to be a target of terrorism attacks. The countries hope the pipeline is well-enough protected.