BAKU, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan’s state energy company SOCAR agreed with Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft to export 1.0-1.5 million tonnes of oil via Russia in 2014, reversing plans to halt exports in March, SOCAR’s vice-president said.
“We signed an agreement with Transneft. This agreement is mutually beneficial,” Elshad Nassirov told Reuters.
“Oil volumes to be shipped via Russia this year will be in a range of 1.0-1.5 million tonnes.”
SOCAR had planned to halt oil exports via Russia in March, opting instead to send the bulk of its crude through Turkey and retaining some to cover rising domestic demand for oil products.
Oil exports via Russia were 1.75 million tonnes in 2013, down from 2.06 million tonnes shipped in 2012.
In May last year, Russia terminated a contract to pump Azeri oil across its territory, ending a 16-year agreement between the two countries on the grounds that Azerbaijan had not been shipping the agreed quantities.
Oil has flowed along the 1,330-km pipeline from the Azeri capital of Baku on the Caspian Sea to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk since May under a separate contract between Transneft and SOCAR.
Nassirov said oil volumes to be shipped via Russia every month, and a timetable of shipments, would be agreed with Transneft within days. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Anthony Barker)