Russia is in talks with Azerbaijan to reverse an oil pipeline to ship Russian oil to Europe via Turkey after using it for years to export Azeri oil to Europe via Russia, an Azeri oil executive said on Monday. The move comes as a BP-led pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey is being used at only half its designed capacity of 1.2 million barrels per day as Azeri Caspian Sea fields are getting depleted.
But Azeri state oil firm SOCAR’s president Rovnag Abdullayev said his firm is talking to Russian state oil firm Rosneft about taking up to 5 million tonnes of oil annually (100,000 barrels per day) through Azerbaijan. Some volumes would be processed in local Azeri refineries and some would be exported via the BP-led Ceyhan pipeline. He added that Rosneft was interested in SOCAR’s oil loading facilities assets in Ceyhan, Singapore and Fujairah.
Last week both companies signed a broad cooperation agreement but have yet to reach concrete deals as sources on both sides said the two companies could not agree on a number of details.