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The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil and gas pipeline is a 1,768 km long crude oil pipeline stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. It is the second longest oil pipeline in the world and passes through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. IFC has invested $250 million since 2003 and the total project cost is approximately $3.6 billion. The project is operated by BTC Co., which comprises a consortium of 11 partners. To date, CAO has received 33 complaints in relation to the project ranging from individuals to communities to local organizations. On August 20, 2007, the CAO received a complaint from residents of Vale, who claim that BTC Co. did not meet previously agreed land restoration commitments. The complainants say BTC was to develop a monitoring program in conjunction with impacted community members that would work together to assess the quality of land following completion of the pipeline project.
Due to heavy winter snow cover, a CAO assessment trip was postponed until Spring 2008, in agreement with the parties, and the assessment period was extended. In the meantime, CAO encouraged a direct meeting between BTC Co. and the complainants to discuss the issues directly. The complainants and company reported that a tentative agreement had been reached on March 5, 2008, in which complainants would plant the impacted plots and BTC Co. would carry out an analysis of the yield together with the complainants in autumn, prior to harvest. The CAO Ombudsman traveled to Georgia in April 2008, and facilitated a second meeting between the stakeholders in Vale, who had been unable to implement the initial agreement. After further negotiations the parties reached a second agreement, in June 2009, to jointly monitor the yield in September 2009 and determine whether crop-loss compensation should be paid. The CAO monitored implementation of that agreement, and in October 2009 the parties reported that monitoring was complete and a final settlement had been reached. The signed agreement was subsequently forwarded to CAO.
Case Status: Closed
CAO case story page: http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/cases/case_detail.aspx?id=71