Oil Shipments from Georgia's Batumi Port Drop
Oil and oil-related shipments from Georgia's Black Sea port of Batumi dropped 24 percent in the first four months of 2019 from a year earlier, an official at a KazMunaiGas-operated terminal at the port said on Wednesday.
Shipments of crude oil and refined oil products from Batumi have fallen in recent years, partly because Azerbaijan prefers to send its oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline or via its own terminal at the Georgian port of Kulevi, rather than from Batumi, which is operated by a Kazakh company.
There were no shipments of crude oil, naphtha, jet fuel or vacuum gasoil from Batumi in January-April, 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 said, while some fuel oil was sent to the port of Taman in Russia and to Kulevi.
Oil-related shipments from Batumi fell to 318,110 tonnes in January-April from 415,613 tonnes a year earlier. In April alone shipments were 105,160 tonnes, compared with 115,086 tonnes a year earlier and 87,005 tonnes in March this year.
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.
In 2018, shipments of oil and oil-related products from Batumi were 1.030 million tonnes, against 2.109 million in 2017.
(Reuters, Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Louise Heavens)