August 2011, Azerbaijan : section of the Baku Tbilisi Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, near the town of Ganja (302 KM from Baku), western Azerbaijan.
Horse patrol. BP employs horsemen to gard the Azeri section of the BTC. Each horseman is responsible for a 10 km stretch of the pipeline which is patrolled on horseback 365 days of the year.
Since it became operational in 2006 the BTC has allowed Azerbaijan to export its oil to world markets through Georgia and Turkey, thus avoiding Russia. It has given Azerbaijan a greater sense of independence and a new role for Georgia in Europe's energy security to the annoyance of Russia. Some blame the BTC for Russia's alleged continued covert involvement in regional latent conflicts (Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno Karabakh).
GeorgiaAzerbaijanOil and GasBTC pipelineWealthCaucasusSami Siva