The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline is the first pipeline to transport crude oil from the Caspian Sea across three countries – Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey – to an export terminal on the Turkish coast. Oil has been flowing through the pipeline since 2006, bringing important new revenues to the host countries.
The BTC pipeline has also brought changes to local villages and towns along its route. At times, especially during the early planning stages for the pipeline’s development, affected communities have voiced concerns about, for example, potential impacts from the pipeline construction on livelihoods.
As the operator of the BTC Company, a consortium formed by the 11 energy companies that invested in the pipeline project, BP has worked to earn the trust of affected communities, understand the potential social impacts and take action to mitigate those impacts and promote beneficial impacts for communities from the pipeline’s presence.
Community investment programmes have a key role in this. Improving the current economic activities appropriate to the climate, topography, natural resources and cultural aspects of over 300 settlements was the starting point for BP's community investment programme. As part of this programme, over 120 village water systems and 170 animal water systems were rehabilitated; and more than 130 schools and other common buildings were improved. Projects evolved into comprehensive rural development programmes including rehabilitation of communal infrastructure, improving animal husbandry and agriculture and widespread training and capacity development. More than 130,000 farmers and 800 beekeepers were trained, and over a million livestock were vaccinated. Intensive capacity building support was provided to 133 local organizations who implemented over 400 different projects from BTC funds. 2,500 people found jobs after vocational training was provided to unemployed youth.