International trading firm Vitol and Azerbaijan’s state SOCAR have agreed to transport Turkmen oil volumes via Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline which will result in a sharp decline of transit shipments via Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, three sources said on Wednesday.
“SOCAR and Vitol agreed to transport about 1 million tonnes of Turkmen oil via BTC pipeline per year. The supplies will start from October,” one source familiar with the details of the agreement told Reuters.
Vitol supplies Turkmen oil volumes it purchases from UAE’s ENOC under term contracts, the other source added.
Russia and Azerbaijan have a long history of competing for the light and sweet Turkmen oil. Turkmen oil has been part of Azeri BTC flows for years, but Russia has also a long history of offtakes into the Transneft TRNF_p.MM pipeline system.