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Baku–Batumi pipeline

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Title: Baku–Batumi pipeline  
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Subject: Caspian Sea, Petroleum industry in Azerbaijan, Tuapse oil terminal, Baku–Supsa Pipeline, White Stream
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Baku–Batumi pipeline

The Baku–Batumi pipeline is the name given to several Batumi oil terminal at the Black Sea. When first constructed in 1906, it was the world's longest kerosene pipeline.[1]

Kerosene pipeline

Together with oil developments in the Baku area, the need for construction of the oil pipeline from Baku to the Black Sea rose. The first pipeline proposal was submitted by Russian engineer I. Ilimov already in 1878.[1] In 1880, Dmitri Mendeleev proposed the construction of Baku–Batumi pipeline to ensure the transportation of Baku oil to the world market.[2] In 1884, the chief engineer Vladimir Shukhov of Bari engineering company published a scientifically based draft and estimate of the Baku – Batumi oil pipeline. Also the pipeline technical project was later designed by Vladimir Sukhov. In 1885, mining engineer I. Ilimov established the Caspian and Black Sea Oil Pipeline company. In December 1887, the Government of Russia granted to Ilimov the concession to establish the Society of the Caspian-Black Sea Oil Pipeline, a joint stock company. However, in 1891 the pipeline construction was postponed as premature, and the construction started only in 1896. At the first stage, the Batumi-Khashuri section was constructed, while the construction of Baku-Khashuri section was finished only in 1906.[3]

The first pipeline was kerosene pipeline with total length of 835 kilometres (519 mi) and 16 pumping stations. The diameter of the pipeline was mainly 8 inches (200 mm), but some parts had diameter of 10 inches (250 mm) and 12 inches (300 mm).[3] The pipes were produced at plants in Mariupol, Sosnovtsa and Yekaterinoslav (now Dnipropetrovsk).[1] The pipeline was built along the railroad line and the telephone communication was arranged along the route. The initial pipeline capacity was 980,000 tons of kerosene per annum. Pumping stations were equipped with plunger pumps, driven by steam and diesel engines.[3] The pipeline for its time was the longest pipeline in the world.[1]

After the Bolshevik Revolution, kerosene deliveries through the pipeline were relaunched in March 1921 and on 20 May 1921, the first delivery of kerosene arrived at Batumi.[4]

Crude oil pipeline

The project of new pipeline was proposed in 1924. In 1925, the Soviet Union held negotiations with French companies to set up a joint venture to construct and operate the Baku-Batumi crude oil pipeline. The intention was to use the pipeline for oil export to Europe, mainly to France. However, the negotiations failed as also failed negotiations with the United States companies. In 1927, the construction of the pipeline was awarded to Azneft, an Azerbaijani oil company. The project designer and construction manager was A.V. Bulgakov.[5]

The construction started in May 1928 and the pipeline was opened on 30 April 1930. It supplied mainly Batumi refinery.[5]

The crude oil pipeline had a diameter of 10 inches (250 mm) and the length was 834 kilometres (518 mi).[4] The pipeline had 13 pumping stations each equipped with three diesel pumps of 360 hp. The pipeline used over 60,000 German-manufactured pipes weighing a total of over 54,000 tons. Diesels for the pipeline were purchased from MAN AG, pumps from Crossley and generators from Theodor Bergmann.[5] Construction work was done on three sections simultaneously. The highest point was at the 823 metres (2,700 ft) above of sea level. The first 21 kilometres (13 mi) long section Khashuri-Batumi was completed on 13 February 1929, the second 363 kilometres (226 mi) long section Mingechaur-Khashuri was completed on 15 December 1929, and the third 248 kilometres (154 mi) long section Baku-Mingechaur was completed on 13 February 1930. The pipeline cost 49 million rubles.[5]

The operation of the oil pipeline showed that it was incapable of transporting oil in planned amount and the capacity was needed to increase by 750,000 tons.[4] In August 1942, the pipeline was dismantled in connection with the threat of penetration of German troops in that direction and its pipes were used for the construction of the Astrakhan-Saratov pipeline.[1] In 1990s, some part of the pipeline were used for the construction of the Baku-Supsa Pipeline.

New pipeline

There have been several proposals for the new Baku–Batumi pipeline. In 1994-1998, the Baku-Supsa Pipeline, which partly uses old Baku–Batumi pipeline route, was constructed. On 2 March 1998, Chevron Corporation agreed to reconstruct existing Khashuri-Batumi pipeline and construct Dubandi (Baku)- Khashuri pipeline.[6] However, in May 2001 Chevron canceled this project and started to ship its oil from Tengiz Field through the CPC pipeline.[7]

Kazakhstan's national oil company KazMunayGas, owner of the Batumi Oil Terminal, has shown interest to build the new Baku–Batumi pipeline, which together with proposed Trans-Caspian and Batumi-Constanţa connections would allow to supply KazMunayGas oil refineries in Romania (Rompetrol) and planned refinery in Batumi.[8][9][10]


  1. ^ a b c d e "From Field to Trunk Pipelines".  
  2. ^ "History of development of oil industry". Azerbaijan Portal. Retrieved 2008-07-18. 
  3. ^ a b c A.M. Shammazov, B.N. Mastobajev, A. Soshchenko (2000). "Russian pipeline transport (1860-1917)". Truboprovodny transport nefti (Oil Pipelines) ( 
  4. ^ a b c A.M. Shammazov, B.N. Mastobajev, R.N. Bakhtizin (2001). "History. Truboprovodny transport Rossii (1946-91)". Truboprovodny transport nefti (Oil Pipelines) ( 
  5. ^ a b c d Mishin, Vladimir (2005). "Breaking through the oil blockade". Oil of Russia ( 
  6. ^ "Caspian Business Report" 2 (5). US-Azerbaijan Council. 1998-03-15. Archived from the original on 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  7. ^ "Caspian Sea Region: Oil Export Options". Dr. Alexander Aghayan & Associates, Inc. July 2002. Archived from the original on 15 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  8. ^ "Way to Europe May Lie via Baku-Batumi- Constants: Head of Rompetrol". Trend News. 2008-02-09. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  9. ^ "Kazakhstan Interested in Oil Delivery via Baku-Susa Pipeline: Diplomat". Trend News. 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  10. ^ K. Konirova (2008-07-07). "Kazakhstan Negotiates with Azerbaijan and Georgia to Construct New Oil Pipeline". Trend News. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
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