The 1,768 kilometres (1,099 mi) long pipeline starts at the Sangachal Terminal near Baku in Azerbaijan, crosses Georgia and terminates at the Ceyhan Marine Terminal (Haydar Aliyev Terminal) on the south-eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey. 443 kilometres (275 mi) of the pipeline lie in Azerbaijan, 249 kilometres (155 mi) in Georgia and 1,076 kilometres (669 mi) in Turkey. It crosses several mountain ranges at altitudes to 2,830 metres (9,300 ft). It also traverses 3,000 roads, railways, and utility lines—both overground and underground—and 1,500 watercourses up to 500 metres (1,600 ft) wide (in the case of the Ceyhan River in Turkey). The pipeline occupies a corridor eight meters wide, and is buried to a depth of at least one meter. The pipeline runs parallel to the South Caucasus Gas Pipeline, which transports natural gas from the Sangachal Terminal to Erzurum in Turkey. From Sarız to Ceyhan, the Samsun–Ceyhan oil pipeline will be parallel to the BTC pipeline.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline Company (BTC Co.) was established in London on 1 August 2002. The ceremony launching construction of the pipeline was held on 18 September 2002. Construction began in April 2003 and was completed in 2005. The Azerbaijan section was constructed by Consolidated Contractors International of Greece, and Georgia's section was constructed by a joint venture of France’s Spie Capag and UK Petrofac International. The Turkish section was constructed by BOTAŞ. Bechtel was the main contractor for engineering, procurement and construction.