Igor Demin, a spokesman for oil transport company Transneft, said part of the operations for the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline would be suspended because Azerbaijan hasn't signed the necessary agreements for oil transit, Russian news agency ITAR-Tass reported.
A bilateral deal between the State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic and Russia for Russian oil transits through Azeri territory was terminated in May. Baku hasn't resumed the appropriate discussions with Moscow for a new commercial agreement, Demin said.
The spokesman said Transneft's obligations to Azerbaijan will end in February and inert gas will be pumped into the unused section of the pipeline.
ITAR-Tass reports a bilateral agreement with Azerbaijan called for the annual delivery of 36 million barrels of oil, but that level was rarely achieved. SOCAR last year said its stance on the pipeline was based on market factors.
SOCAR said Thursday more than 15 million barrels of its own oil was delivered to the Turkish sea port of Ceyhan last month.
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