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Russia annuls Azeri oil transit deal

May 15, 2013 at 5:40 AM

MOSCOW, May 15 (UPI) -- The Russian government said it terminated a 1996 deal to transport oil from Azerbaijan through its pipeline systems from Baku.

A 1996 deal between Russian pipeline company Transneft and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic calls for the transit of around 36 million barrels per year through the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline. SOCAR since 2011 has sent about 14 million barrels each year through the pipeline and planned to cut that volume to 11.7 million barrels for 2013.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a measure terminating the 1996 agreement with Azerbaijan. Transneft said it lost about $50 million per year because of lowered volumes, state news agency RIA Novosti reports.

Russian oil company Lukoil is developing an oil field in the Russian waters of the Caspian Sea. In terms of natural gas, European consumers are looking to Azeri resources in the Caspian Sea in hopes of breaking Russia's grip on the regional energy sector.

Transneft said it would continue talks with Azeri companies on a future pricing system for the oil pipeline.

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