The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) project represents a US$3 billion investment to unlock energy from the Caspian Sea, with the construction of a 1,768-km oil pipeline from Azerbaijan, through Georgia and on to Turkey, for onward delivery to world markets. The South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) runs parallel to the BTC pipeline and will transport gas from the Caspian Sea to the Georgia/Turkey border.
BTC (and SCP to a lesser extent) has been subject to an unprecedented degree of monitoring by international and national bodies wishing to assess the project’s openness to public scrutiny and compliance with international standards.
BP initiated a partnership with the Open Society Institute-Assistance Foundation (OSI-AF) to provide training, mentoring and facilitation to the NGOs doing the monitoring in Azerbaijan. OSI-AF’s main goal is to foster the transition of a closed society to a more open one. Farda Asadov, OSI-AF’s executive director, explains: ‘In Azerbaijan our aim is to increase civil society’s involvement in the democratic process and to oversee good governance and transparency in the use of national resources.’ The partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and commenced the NGO Monitoring Programme in April 2004.