Kazakhstan’s oil exports account for more than 1 percent of the world’s oil supply, or about 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd). Reuters reported.
For 20 years, the CPC pipeline has transported oil to Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.
In July, a Russian court threatened to shut down CPC, prompting the Kazakh government and major foreign producers to look to other markets as a precaution.
According to a source with direct knowledge of the matter, Kazakhstan’s state-owned oil company Kazmunaigaz (KMG) is in advanced talks with the commercial arm of Azerbaijan’s state-owned company SOCAR to sell 1.5 million tonnes of Kazakhstani crude per year through an Azeri pipeline. It connects Turkey’s Sayan Mediterranean – supplying oil to a sea port.
The final contract will be signed at the end of August, and deliveries through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (PTC) pipeline will begin a month later, a Reuters source said.
Two additional sources told the news agency that in 2023 another 3.5 million tons of Kazakh crude oil will begin flowing through another Azeri pipeline to the Black Sea port of Shubsa in Georgia.
The people involved did not want to comment on this report.
Azerbaijan will allow Kazakhstan Pass through Russian territory. Last month, BP in Azerbaijan said it would divert flows from the Baku-Supsa pipeline to the larger BTC pipeline.
But the new BTC route would require Kazakhstan to rely on a small fleet of tankers to transport oil from Aktau port, which has little spare capacity, across the Caspian Sea to Baku, the sources said.
Tengizchevroil (TCO), a joint venture led by oil major Chevron, has its own sales business and is negotiating separately for its own pipeline and railroads.
A BTC pipeline could be an option for TCO, but if a deal is reached, it could take up to six months before deliveries begin, a source said. TCO declined to comment.
A quick deal is hampered by quality issues. Kazakhstan’s main product, CPC Blend, a light, sour crude sold at a significant discount to Azerbaijan’s leading energy company BTC, is an easily refined commodity.
TCO had already started diverting small quantities of oil by rail to the port of Batumi in Georgia in April, when part of the CPC terminal was rendered unusable by storm damage.