British Petroleum has closed both the Baku-Ceyhan and Baku-Supsa pipelines through Georgia, while denying that either of them have actually been damaged in the fighting. The closure of the Baku-Supsa or Western Route Export Pipeline (WREP) further limits BP’s export options from the Caspian Sea after a fire (caused by a guerilla attack) damaged its key Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) link to Turkey last week. The Shah-Deniz field in Azerbaijan is effectively shut down, and operations have been reduced at the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli oilfields. (Reuters, Aug. 12)
Speaking early Aug. 13 in Tbilisi, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who currently holds the rotating EU presidency, announced that both sides had agreed to pull back their troops to the positions they occupied before the fighting started. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he has ordered an end to military operations inside Georgia. But Georgia said Russian aircraft continued bombing villages and towns, killing several people. (AlJazeera, Aug. 13)
Reports from CNN (Aug. 11) and the Financial Times (Aug. 13) contradicted earlier accounts that Gori had been occupied by the Russians, but said it was bombed heavily, with the FT saying much of the city had been reduced to “rubble.”
See our last post on Georgia and the pipeline war.