February 1, 2019 / 1:27 PM / 6 months ago

Oil shipments from Georgia's Batumi port drop 53.7 pct yr/yr in Jan

TBILISI, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Oil and oil-related shipments from Georgia’s Black Sea port of Batumi fell 53.7 percent year on year in January, an official at a KazMunaiGas-operated terminal at the port said on Friday.

Shipments fell to 50,246 tonnes from 108,464 tonnes a year earlier and from 51,709 tonnes in December.

Shipments of crude oil and refined oil products from Batumi have fallen in recent years. They totalled 1.030 million tonnes in 2018, down from 2.109 million in 2017.

There were no shipments of crude oil, gasoline, jet fuel, fuel oil and naphtha in January, the official, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters.

Some crude oil was re-routed to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and to the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, the official added, while some fuel oil was sent to the port of Taman in Russia and to Georgia’s other Black Sea port, Kulevi.

The fall in shipments is partly because Azerbaijan prefers to send its oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline or via its own terminal at Kulevi, rather than from Batumi, which is operated by a Kazakh company.

Crude and refined oil products from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are shipped out of Georgia’s Black Sea ports of Batumi, Supsa, Poti and the terminal at Kulevi.

Some products are transported across the Caspian Sea in small tankers, unloaded in the Azeri port of Baku and then sent by rail to Georgian ports for export to the Mediterranean. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze; editing by Jason Neely)

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