SOCAR holding talks with Transneft on renewal of oil supply via Northern route
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 19
Azerbaijan's State Oil Company SOCAR conducts negotiations with the Russian Transneft company on renewal of oil supply via Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline in 2016, Reuters reported Feb. 19 citing SOCAR's representative.
SOCAR exported 1.27 million tons of oil via the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline in 2015, compared to 932,160 tons of oil exported in 2014.
SOCAR official said that the company had not shipped its oil via Russia in December due to "technical limitations" at the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline.
"We've asked to temporarily use another route - to Makhachkala, an option envisaged by our contract, but Transneft refused, citing technical limitations," he said.
The official said SOCAR had so far not exported its oil via Russia this year either but had held negotiations with Transneft on resuming shipments, suggesting the Makhachkala route be activated as per the contract.
"We are still in talks with the Russians, they should be more flexible," he said, adding that SOCAR was ready to export about 1.4 million tonnes of crude via Russia this year.
He further said that volumes which were meant to be shipped via Russia had been re-routed to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.
After the lifting of international sanctions on Iran, he said SOCAR was also considering exporting refined oil products to Tehran as well as swap operations.
"Our delegation was in Iran recently and discussed the possibility of reviving our cooperation," he said.
He said that SOCAR planned to trade around 22 million tonnes of its own oil this year and about 11 million tonnes of non-Azeri oil worldwide, the same levels as in 2015.