Azeri BTC oil transports stopped at Turkey’s central oil export terminal following the earthquakes

February 9, 2023: Azeri BTC crude oil transports from Turkey’s Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan airport in the Mediterranean are stopped following a twin set of earthquakes that devastated Turkey and Syria, leaving over 9,000 dead on Monday.

The BTC terminal loads Azeri BTC Blend crude, which is transferred to the Ceyhan port through the BTC pipeline. A force majeure notice seen, which removes contractual liability from exporters or producers for circumstances outside their control, was issued on Tuesday evening. It notes tanker loading operations from the BTC terminal have been temporarily interrupted as more assessments are carried out on pipeline operations following the damage that occurred at the connection points of dual berths.

The earthquakes did not impact the BTC pipeline; the Botas International Company is operating its Turkish section said on Monday.

Three trader sources estimate the force majeure could be in place for up to 10 days. Two trade sources said that the BTC crude oil loadings schedule, typically published on the 8th of every month, will be delayed. The trade sources could only comment on the condition of anonymity because of contractual restrictions.

BTC Blend is the main crude export stream of OPEC+ member Azerbaijan.

The Ceyhan port’s next terminal, Botas, resumed loadings late on Tuesday. It is bringing Kirkuk blend crude from Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional administration for export into the Mediterranean.

“Exportation of oil through Ceyhan port has resumed tonight at 9:45 pm,” the Kurdistan Regional administration Ministry of Natural Resources said, referring to local time.

The Ice Brent contract with April expiry was trading at $84.60 per barrel, up 90 cents from the last settlement price. The Nymex WTI contract with March delivery was $78.15, higher by $1.01 from the previous close price.

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Azeri BTC oil transports stopped at Turkey’s central oil export terminal following the earthquakes