Azerbaijan plans to raise oil exports via Novorossiisk this year

May 09, 2005 02:00 AM

Azerbaijan plans to pump 4 mm-4.5 mm tons of crude via the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline in 2005, compared with 2.6 mm tons in 2004, Natik Aliyev, president of Azeri state oil company SOCAR, told. Novorossiisk is Russia's largest Black Sea port.
The increase was attributed to greater exports by the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) from the development of the Azeri-Chirac-Guneshli contract area, he said.

AIOC is the international BP-led consortium that is developing the Azeri-Guneshli-Guneshli contract area. Partners in the AIOC consortium include BP Azerbaijan, with 34.1 %, Azeri state oil and gas company SOCAR with 10.0 %, Norway's Statoil with 8.6 %, the US' ExxonMobil with 8.0 %, and several others.
At present, the Baku-Supsa pipeline, which exports crude oil from the contract area, is at full capacity, so AIOC began using the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline in April, he said. Supsa is a Georgian port on the Black Sea.

It is also possible that starting in June, AIOC would start crude exports via the Baku-Batumi railway, Aliyev said, adding that this flexible export plan would be in place until the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline is operational. Batumi is another Georgian port on the Black Sea.
SOCAR also plans to get permission to restart its crude exports via the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline starting in June, he said. SOCAR had exported crude via the pipeline since 1997, but this April it transferred the right to use the pipeline to AIOC.

AIOC has not yet officially approved SOCAR’s crude oil quota for June, Aliyev said. He added that there would be enough capacity to export 70,000-80,000 tons of SOCAR’s oil because in late May, AIOC is expected to start filling the BTC pipeline.
The 1,760 km BTC pipeline, which links the Azeri capital Baku with the Turkish port of Ceyhan, will transport oil from Azeri-Guneshli-Guneshli and will have an annual throughput capacity of 50 mm tons of oil.

In 2005, Azerbaijan is expected to produce 20 mm tons of crude, including 11 mm tons produced by AIOC.
In 2004, Azerbaijan produced 15 mm tons of crude, including 6.4 mm tons by AIOC.

Source: Dow Jones
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