Russia proposed oil supplies to Azerbaijan via the Baku-Tikhoretsk pipeline

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Moscow and Baku are discussing the possibility of Russian oil supplies to Azerbaijan via the Baku-Tikhoretsk oil pipeline in reverse mode, the Russian government announced late on Thursday.

Russia could potentially supply to Azerbaijan up to 4 million metric tons of crude per year, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

Moscow’s proposal may allow Azerbaijan to feed domestic oil refineries and free up own crude oil to boost exports. Russia may get an availability to sell oil bypassing sanctions limitations but would partially cut oil flows via the Caspian port of Makhachkala and the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.

Kazakh oil exports through the Caspian Sea to Russia’s port of Makhachkala for delivery to Novorossiisk are relatively small. Kazakh oil suplies from Aktau to Makhachkala in 2022 fell by 40.6% year-on-year to 2.259 million metric tons after Kazakhstan boosted oil exports from Aktau to Azerbaijan’s Baku.

Azerbaijan also used to deliver its Azeri Light crude to global markets via the Baku-Tikhoretsk-Novorossiisk pipeline. In 2021 transit volumes totalled some 1.1 million metric tons, but supplies were suspended in 2022.

(Reporting by Reuters,; Editing by Louise Heavens)