Baku, Azerbaijan, July 17
By Maksim Tsurkov – Trend:
Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR plans to start shipping the Turkmen oil, produced at the Cheleken field, from its terminal in Georgia’s Kulevi in the near future, a source on Azerbaijan’s oil and gas market told Trend.
In the last three to four years, the biggest part of oil from the Cheleken field, developed by the Dragon Oil company, was transported to Azerbaijan via the Caspian Sea and then loaded by SOCAR into the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, according to the source.
“The Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), which owns Dragon Oil, is seeking to play a more active role in marketing its oil to ensure the highest netback [net income]. The only possible obstacle is complex logistics related to transportation of oil by sea and then by rail to Georgia.”
The source added that the Kulevi terminal has not been transshipping crude oil for more than three years.
“The Kulevi terminal is currently used mainly for shipping oil products - fuel oil and gas oil as well as methanol.”
Dragon Oil has been transporting oil from Turkmenistan through the Baku port since June 2010. The company has been operating in Turkmenistan since 1999 under the production sharing agreement and is one of the largest foreign investors in the country.
The terminal in Georgia’s Kulevi was commissioned in May 2008 and oil products’ transhipment started in June of the same year. The total capacity of the terminal is 10 million tons of oil cargo per year, including three million tons of oil, three million tons of diesel fuel and four million tons of fuel oil.
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