Oil exports via Caspian Pipeline rise 24 pct on year in March

MOSCOW, April 1 Tue Apr 1, 2014 7:32am EDT

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MOSCOW, April 1 (Reuters) - Russian and Kazakh oil exports via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) jumped by 24 percent in March, compared with a year earlier, as the result of an expansion in pipeline capacity.

Loadings carried from Kazakhstan's Caspian Sea oil deposits to Russia's Black Sea port of Novorossiisk rose to 837,682 barrels per day (bpd) in March from 684,641 bpd in the same month last year, CPC said on Tuesday.

This is less than the 909,694 pumped in February, which was a monthly record high.

CPC exports rose to 32.7 million tonnes in 2013 from 31.8 million a year earlier and plans call for further expansion of the pipeline's capacity to 40 million tonnes this year.

Although it traverses Russia and was developed in conjunction with the Russian government, the pipeline was the first to give the Caspian Sea region and Kazakhstan a viable alternative to more Russian-dominated northern export routes.

The CPC consortium involves Russian state-owned pipeline monopoly Transneft, the state of Kazakhstan, U.S. oil company Chevron and Russia's LUKOIL. (Reporting by Alla Afanasyeva; Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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