Russian Transneft company concerned about fate of Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline

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Transneft is concerned about the possibility of suspension of oil transit via the port in Makhachkala and re-direction of transit to Azerbaijan and Georgia, the company reported.

baku-nov“Criminal situation on Dagnefteproduct and inactivity of the republican administrative agencies leads to closure of the route of the Caspian oil export through the only Russian infrastructure, which belongs to the state. Shutting down and as a result, loss of the transit route will lead to re-direction of the potential oil volumes to such corridors as Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and Georgian ports,” said the same source.

The company reported that it regularly receives complaints from the cargo senders about losses and problems with shipment of oil from the tankers to the Dagnefteproduct terminal in Makhachkala port for its transportation via the main oil pipelines to the Novorossiysk port.

“Upon arrival to the Makhachkala port oil is poured off and the acts of reception are signed after measuring the reservoirs of Dagnefteproduct. Then from the reservoirs oil is received by the Makhachkala oil refinery for its pumping to the main oil pipelines. The oil losses during transshipment from the tankers to the reservoirs must not exceed 0.2%. Turkmen cargo senders claim that in 2013 the losses constituted 0.69% of pumping, in 2014 – 0.84%, in  2015 – 0.44% and in quarter 1, 2016 – 1.43%,” said the same source.

In May 2016 Dagnefteproduct received 5,000 tons of Turkmen oil and refused to pump this volume into the Transneft pipeline system. The company is trying to force the owner of oil to sign the act of creation of the “dead” residue in the reservoirs of the oil base,” the company explained.

Chernomortransneft repeatedly noticed during reception of oil from the reservoirs of Dagnefteproduct “ into the oil pipelines mass concentration of chlorous salts” and excesses content of water. During quarter 1, 2016 reception of unbalanced oil from the reservoirs of Dagnefteproduct was suspended 16 times. During 2015 we had about 50 such cases,” said the same source.

“Transneft reported that on the basis of these facts Rostekhnadzor has checked Dagnefteproduct and filed 11 complaints about violation of industrial safety. But the situation did not change and even worsened,” the company added.

The problems with the reservoir park of Dagnefteproduct have led to reduction of volume of oil transported via the Makhachkala-Novorossiysk route. Since 2013 LUKoil reduced number of oil shipped through the Makhachkala port twice and re-directed it to the BTC oil pipeline. The Turkmen makers also said they are ready to suspend shipping through the Makhachkala port.

Igor Demin, press officer of Transneft, explained to Interfax that pumping in this direction will become unprofitable if the volume is reduced by less than 2 million tons a year with the current rates. “If the rates go up, this route will become unprofitable,” he said.

 * In 2015 SOCAR shipped 1,270,108 tons of oil from Novorossiysk. From January to May 2016 SOCAR shipped 319,499 tons of oil from the Novorossiysk port and reduced export via the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline by 52.9% against the same period last year.

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