December 4, 2018 / 8:18 AM / 9 days ago

Oil shipments from Georgia's Batumi port drop 49 percent in year to November

TBILISI (Reuters) - Oil and oil-related shipments from Georgia’s Black Sea port of Batumi fell 48.6 percent in the first eleven months of 2018 from a year earlier, an official at a KazMunaiGas-operated RDGZ_p.KZ terminal at the port said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows Georgia's Black Sea port of Batumi March 2, 2010. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

Some crude oil has been re-routed to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and to the Caspian Pipeline Consortium this year, the official added, while some fuel oil has been sent to the port of Taman in Russia and Georgia’s other Black Sea port of 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 in Kulevi, rather than from Batumi, which is operated by a Kazakh company.

January-November shipments of crude oil and refined oil products from Batumi totaled 978,705 tonnes, down from 1.906 million tonnes in the same period last year, said the official, who asked not to be identified.

In November, overall shipments were 26,761 tonnes, compared with 90,596 tonnes the previous month and 144,376 tonnes in November last year.

“Some volumes have been re-routed to other routes this year,” the official said.

There were no shipments of crude oil, jet fuel, fuel oil and naphtha last month.

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 in 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.

Shipments of crude oil and refined oil products from Batumi had already been falling before this year, totaling 2.109 million tonnes in 2017, down from 3.377 million in 2016.

Reporting by Margarita Antidze; editing by Kirsten Donovan

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