Heydar Aliyev Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Main Export Pipeline is an international project designed for the transportation of crude oil, produced from the oilfield in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea, to the international markets. The length of the BTC pipeline route is 1 767 km, of which 443 km covers Azerbaijan, 248 km - Georgia, 1 076 km - Turkey. The design life of the pipeline is 40 years, while the throughput capacity is 1 million barrels of oil per day.
The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) is participated in the BTC project through its special purpose subsidiary AzBTC Co., which is a 25 percent stakeholder in the BTC Company, a consortium of oil companies. The participants including AzBTC Co. funded a 30 percent equity component with the remaining 70 percent raised from multilateral financial institutions, export credit agencies and commercial banks.
The Ministry of the Economic Development (MED) of Azerbaijan acquired, on behalf of the Government of Azerbaijan, a stake of around 80 percent in AzBTC Co., while SOFAZ financed this acquisition and correspondingly MED's obligations with respect to AzBTC Co. and the BTC project. Dividends gained from MED's share in AzBTC Co. are accumulated in SOFAZ. Moreover, SOFAZ had been financing Azerbaijan's equity share in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline project since 2002, in accordance with the Presidential Decree No. 739, dated July 30, 2002 "On Financing the Share of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic in the Heydar Aliyev Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Main Export Pipeline Project". As of February 1, 2007, AZN 298 million has been directed towards the financing of Azerbaijan's equity share in BTC.
The Azerbaijan section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil export pipeline was inaugurated on May 25, 2005 by the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey in an official ceremony, which was held at the BTC head pump station in the Sangachal Terminal near Baku. This event marks the official celebration of the first oil into the Heydar Aliyev BTC main export pipeline.
The BTC pipeline was officially inaugurated on July 13, 2006, by the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia in Ceyhan, Turkey.