January 12, 2012 / 3:30 PM / 6 years ago

Oil shipments via Georgia ports down in 2011

* Georgia’s Batumi shipments down 12 pct in 11/10

* Kulevi oil loadings down 8 pct in 11/10

TBILISI, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Georgia’s Batumi oil port on the Black Sea shipped 12.4 percent less crude and oil products in 2011 than the previous year, while the rival Kulevi terminal shipped 8.3 percent less, sources at the terminals said on Thursday.

The Batumi terminal, which is operated by Kazakh state energy firm KazMunaiGas, shipped 5.355 million tonnes last year, down from 6.116 million tonnes in 2010.

In December 2011 the terminal shipped 528,769 tonnes of oil and refined products, down from 559,993 tonnes a year ago, but up from 382,812 tonnes in the preceding month.

The terminal in Kulevi, which started operating in 2009 and is owned by Azeri state energy company SOCAR, shipped 3.3 million tonnes of crude oil and refined products in 2011, down from 3.6 million tonnes in 2010.

In December 2011 the terminal shipped 231,900 tonnes of oil and refined products, down from 415,449 tonnes in December 2010 and 264,100 tonnes in November 2011.

Azerbaijan has been gradually boosting oil shipments via Kulevi. But Kulevi shipment volumes started to decline from June last year as Chevron sent Tengiz oil from Kazakhstan to Batumi instead of Kulevi, while the port has also been carrying out repairs on its oil platforms.

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

Some products are shipped across the Caspian Sea in small tankers, unloaded in the Azeri port of Baku and then sent by rail to Georgian ports for re-export to the Mediterranean.

Ex-Soviet Azerbaijan ships its oil via five main routes -- Russia’s largest Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, neighbouring Georgia’s Supsa, Batumi and Kulevi ports, and Turkey’s Ceyhan.

Oil exports via Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline were also down by 12.9 percent in 2011 to 32.22 million tonnes due to repair works on some drilling platforms, SOCAR said on Wednesday. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze; editing by Jane Baird)

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