BP in Georgia has played an important part in the discovery and preservation of Georgia’s historical and cultural heritage, and in particular Georgia’s archaeological heritage. The oil company has been responsible, in partnership with other companies, for the construction and management of oil and gas pipelines that run through Georgia. There are three major pipelines operated by BP in Georgia: the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline, which carries oil from the Caspian to the Black Sea, and in particular to the Supsa terminal; the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which runs from Azerbaijan to Turkey via Georgia and links the Caspian to the Mediterranean; and the South Caucasian pipeline, through which Georgia and Turkey are supplied with oil from Azerbaijan.

BP’s approach to archaeological sites meets not only currently recognized standards, but also Georgian and international legislation in the area of cultural heritage. It was consequently agreed that wherever possible, the company would try to leave a site below ground in situ and by-pass it rather than excavate it. In places where it was impossible to alter the route for technical reasons (landscape, ecology, local population centres, etc.) they planned and fully sponsored archaeological excavations. This guaranteed to realize Cultural Heritage Protection Program.

In the framework of the Cultural Heritage Protection Program archaeologists of the Georgian National Museum’s O. Lordkipanidze Archaeological Research Centre studied dozens of the sites that have high scientific value. In addition, big number of artifacts has been unearthed. Part of these object are currently presented on National Museum’s exhibitions, the rest are preserved in the storages.

BP’s Cultural Heritage Protection Program responsibilities were not limited to rescue excavation alone. BP and its partners’ duty covered whole cycle of works: survey archeology, field and laboratory works, conservation and storing of the objects, presentation of the works through research reports, exhibitions, publication, and different media.

In the framework of the compensation program of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and adjacent South Caucasus Pipelines were implemented the following projects:  Establishment of storage facilities and housing of the artifacts discovered during the rescue archaeological program; Dissemination of the information about the studies and research results through exhibitions; Capacity building program for Georgian specialists to update local professionals about the newest research methods.

Second multiyear agreement was signed between the Georgian National Museum and BP for “Deferred Archaeological Excavations Agreement” in the frame of Western Route Exploration Pipeline (Baku - Supsa) construction project. The scope of this agreement covered archaeological excavations at 10 different sites close to the Pipeline. Results of these studies were published in 2 volumes of “Pipeline and Archaeology”. Besides, 3 projects were implemented: 1. Development and Rehabilitation of the Site Dsalisa; 2. Development of the Site of Vani; and creation of this Web Site. 

In addition to these projects in the framework of the agreement between BP and Smithsonian Institution Georgian specialist got chance to participate in the study tour in Washington. Besides, 3 additional components were implemented in the scope of the above mentioned agreement: 1. Seminar in Baku, where Azerbaijani, Georgian, and Turkish specialist had possibility to share their experience and learn about each other’s work; 2. Development of the Web-Site (www.agt.si.edu); 3. Issue of a book Ancient Heritage in the BTC-SCP Pipelines Corridor. 

BP initiated and sponsored project that foresaw rescue of the archaeological artifacts in case of the oil spill. In the framework of the project restoration-conservation laboratory was renewed and equipped.

BP’s goodwill projects funded: Creation of the Georgian National Museum Auditorium; Conservation, Research, and Presentation of Dmanisi; Issue of well illustrated bilingual books “Vani Rich in Gold – Myth and Reality” and “Treasures from Zghuderi”.

Joint efforts of two leading companies BP and GNM are a good example of public-private partnership. Special significance of these relationships in a fruitful cooperation that is beneficial for whole community. Here the economy, culture, and policy are united in a single endeavor.