Azerbaijan, Ukraine make energy deal

Feb. 1, 2011 at 9:42 AM

DAVOS, Switzerland, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Oil from Azerbaijan could make its way to the Odessa-Brody pipeline running across Ukrainian territory, a deputy energy minister said from Switzerland.

Azeri and Ukrainian officials met on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss energy issues in Europe.

Kiev is trying to shore up its reputation as a transit hub for oil and natural gas while Azerbaijan moves to become a regional leader in energy as new reserves come on stream.

Ihor Kyriushyn, Ukraine's deputy minister for energy and coal, said Azeri oil could reach Ukraine by April, the National News Agency of Ukraine reports.

"One of the western Ukrainian factories has already signed an agreement on deliveries of Azerbaijani oil from 1.5 (million) to 3 million tons per year," he was quoted as saying.

Oil from Azerbaijan will reach Ukraine by tankers and be moved into the Odessa-Brody pipeline.

The 419-mile pipeline had been operated toward Russia following supply concerns. Russian oil is delivered to the Odessa-Brody pipeline from a junction of the Druzhba pipeline, the longest in the world.

Kiev said it was examining alternative suppliers to help shuttle oil through the pipeline in its intended direction.

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