In accordance with the valid agreements on transit of the Azerbaijan’s oil through the territory of the Russian Federation in case of setting up the “quality bank” in the system of the Russian main oil pipelines through which the Azerbaijan’s oil is transported, the Azerbaijani side will become its participant on equal rights with other shippers and will receive or pay compensation for changing the quality of the crude oil from the acceptance point to the delivery point.

The Azerbaijan’s exporters raised the issue of the establishing the “quality bank” not once since 1996 during the talks with “Transneft”, SOCAR told Trend. В"However, the Russian side is still to respond”, SOCAR pointed out.

President of the LUKOIL Oil Concern Vagit Alekperov said in a statement to one of the Russian media this month, that introduction of the oil ”quality bank’ in Russia should be stage-by-stage. В"I suppose, to turn to the вЂ�quality bank’ directly today is not needed, it must be gradual”, Alekperov said.

Head of LUKOIL explained to the Russian media, in case of introduction of the quality bank system “each producer, delivering his oil to the single system, gets payment according to the quality of his oil and delivers it not in tons but in cubic meters”.

“The easier the oil is, the more cubic meters, the heavier oil, the less. Ii is accepted throughout the world: barrel, it means volume, not kilogram. Switching over to the quality bank we start stimulating the producers to take care of the quality of their products”, Alekperov said.

The SOCAR representative commented on the report of the Russian Media in the following way: “Lobbying of the issue for establishing the quality bank in the government of Russia from the part of such companies as LUKOIL and Rosneft is in favor of Azerbaijan.

The point is the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) producing oil on the “Azeri-Chirag-Gyuneshli (ACG) field while exporting oil through the pipeline Baku-Novorossiysk delivers a light, low-sulphur oil (0,14%) to the “Transneft” system (34,6 by API) known as Azeri Light in the world market, and receives at the port of Novorossiysk heavier (31 by API) high-sulphur (1,2-1,4 %) brand, known as Urals in the market. The Azerbaijani exporters are entitled to count on relevant compensations in the framework of the “quality bank” in case of its organizing.

According to AIOC, during January-August 2005 1,354 million tons of the Azeri Light brand oil was transported through the pipeline Baku-Novorossiysk.

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