6.100 million tons of crude oil is required to supply the domestic needs (consumers and industrial facilities) for oil products, the minister of Industry and Energy of Azerbaijan, Natik Aliyev told Trend.
It is more lucrative now to export the crude oil, he said. Considering that the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline was largely used to pump the AIOC oil last year, SOCAR had to refine its oil at the local facilities. Thus, by preliminary calculations, SOCAR could have $45 additional millions of revenue if it did export the crude oil.
Selling oil products abroad is not beneficial, the minister said. Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan all have their own oil products and they may consider purchase of Azerbaijani produce only if they will cost less than their own. The only country ready to purchase the oil products in the region is Georgia, however, its market is very limited, Aliyev said.
Selling oil products further abroad is also not very lucrative due to the high cost of transportation, including the railroad transportation, refining in ports, freight on vessels, insurance costs.
In order to build the oil refining facilities capable to produce the oil products in accordance with the world standards it is necessary to spend several hundred million dollars, the minister said. However, European market is well protected. So nobody can guarantee that after the facilities in Azerbaijan will be reconstructed the Europe will not raise its standards, which will make the reconstruction inevitable again, he concluded.