Azeri oil now also via western route
Oil from Azerbaijan has begun to flow through the western pipeline to Georgia recently.
Brought on stream by the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC), this line is the second to export production from AzeriChirag in the Caspian.
The route runs from the Sangachal terminal 40 km south of Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, to the Georgian port of Supsa on the Black Sea.
First oil is expected to reach the Georgian border by the end of the year, and plans call for the first tanker consignment to be loaded at Supsa in April.
Transport capacity in the pipeline is 115,000 bpd, with opportunities to expand this up to 220,000 bpd. Rights to use the line extend for 30 years.
Rehabilitation of this western route has been under way for two years at a cost of $ 560 mm. Work on the Azeri section of the line has ended, and is approaching completion in Georgia.
Oil from AzeriChirag is already being exported through the northern pipeline, which runs from Sangachal to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. Opened in October 1997, part of this route runs through Chechnya.