Kazakhstan intends to increase the export of oil through the Russian section of the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline, despite the fact that safety and quality issues can interfere with these plans, a source in Azerbaijan’s oil and gas market told Trend.
“Kazakhstan wants to supply around three million tons of oil per year through the section of the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline, from the city of Makhachkala to the Novorossiysk port,” the source said. “This is while the Transneft company [the operator of Russia’s section of the pipeline] has the ability to ship only 1.5 million tons of oil this year.”
The source added that the quality of the exported oil is one of the main problems Kazakhstan may face.
“Kazakhstan’s oil is heavy, with high sulfur content,” said the source. “This means that the Transneft company will have to mix the Kazakh oil with lighter and high-quality Azerbaijani oil supplied via the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline. However, in 2017, Azerbaijan will supply about 1.5 million tons of oil via the pipeline, and these volumes are not sufficient for being mixed with the Kazakh oil volumes if they are increased.”
Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company SOCAR (operator of Azerbaijani section of the Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline) will pump around 325,000 tons of oil through this pipeline in the first quarter of 2017, according to the plans.
The Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline is 1,147 kilometers long. The length of its Azerbaijani section is 231 kilometers and Russian section – 916 kilometers.
The pipeline was filled with oil in October 1996, according to SOCAR. The pipeline’s highest capacity stands at 105,000 barrels of oil a day.