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Transits through Azeri pipeline down

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The volume of oil transited through the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline from Azerbaijan declined nearly 35 percent in January compared with 2008, statements show.

The Azerbaijani State Oil Co. reported Tuesday crude transportation through the 520-mile pipeline from Caspian ports to the Black Sea declined 34.7 percent in January, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

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Baku-Novorossiysk has an estimated capacity of 36.6 million barrels per year. Shipments in January 2008 were 2.6 percent less than they were in January 2007.

Transits through the pipeline declined in 2007 when operators opened the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, the world's second longest, to Turkey. Flow through the 1,099-mile BTC is expected to rise in 2009 as regional suppliers look to transit their resources through the pipeline as the regional infrastructure expands.

Oil from Kazakhstan's offshore Kashagan field debuted through BTC in November, marking the first time foreign oil transited through the pipeline.

Azerbaijan is positioning itself as a major energy supplier with vast oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea.

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