Ensuring the smooth operation of the Baku–Supsa pipeline
The 833-km-long Baku–Supsa pipeline exports crude oil from an oilfield off the Azerbaijani coast in the Caspian Sea to Supsa in Georgia. The BP-operated pipeline cost $556 million to construct. Owing to stringent environmental regulations in Azerbaijan and Georgia, BP hired RSK to undertake environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA) for the oil project.
RSK environmental specialists completed the ESIA and managed baseline environmental and social surveys for 12 replacement sections of the pipeline (65 km) along the operational pipeline in Georgia. The ESIA was produced to European Union, International Finance Corporation, Georgian and BP standards, although no funding was required.
We scoped and managed baseline surveys, but Georgian consultants and specialists completed all the fieldwork. The baseline surveys comprised
- cultural heritage
- hydrology and water quality
- land contamination
Our regionally located staff participated in field visits to identify suitable access routes and worked closely with the design engineers on routeing the new pipeline sections. We had to plan while paying keen attention to routeing around the Saguramo Reserve (IUCN Category 1a) and avoiding, or at least minimising, impact to areas of rich cultural heritage and UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Later, we completed an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the second half of the pipeline from Tbilisi to Ceyhan in Turkey. We wrote the EIA section of the ESIA according to World Bank guidelines and international financial institutions compliance.