The Armenian armed forces are again targeting pipelines passing through the territory of Azerbaijan. Frankly, the logic of these actions is still incomprehensible, or rather, its complete absence. It is possible to guess that the Armenians are trying somehow to harm Azerbaijan’s economy and its international image in this way.
But the problem is that by threatening the Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline specifically, Armenia also harms the interests of its leading trade and economic partner, Russia.
Baku-Novorossiysk can be called a symbol of Azerbaijani-Russian economic relations.
The fact is that back in 2014, the question arose about the pipeline’s conservation due to its unprofitability. Before that, in 2013, the agreement on Azerbaijani oil’s transit along this route was terminated. This agreement has been in effect since 1996. It provided transportation of up to 5 million tons of oil per year at a tariff of US $ 15.67 for the transit of one ton of oil. At that time, the Russian “Transneft,” engaged in oil transportation, disagreed with this, and it proposed new conditions on the gradation of tariffs depending on the volume of pumping. And this, in turn, was not advantageous for the Azerbaijani side – we already had the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan route on the way, and another quite effective route, Baku-Supsa, remained in reserve.
The matter then came almost to the suspension of Baku-Novorossiysk. But the parties nevertheless agreed, and the oil pipeline continued its work until 2015. It was essential for us as a critical factor in maintaining bilateral trade and economic relations. It became a symbol reflecting the will of Azerbaijan and Russia to keep partnership in all spheres of the economy “in working order.”
However, the volume of oil pumping along the Northern route is falling. According to the Energy Ministry of Azerbaijan, in 2019, they amounted to only 824.4 thousand tons of oil, which is 36.5% lower than in 2018.
This year, they are likely to be even lower – at the beginning of 2020, SOCAR suspended oil transportation in this direction. Then it was reported that some repair and preventive work was carried out on the pipeline since the entire volume of oil produced was redirected to Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan. The northern route started working again on July 17, 2020, that is, practically when the Armenian armed forces were holding the Tovuz region of Azerbaijan under fire – this is where the BTC and Baku-Supsa route passes …
Since then, all the oil pipelines passing through our territory have been kept in working order, and since then, only 278.91 thousand tons of oil have been exported via Baku-Novorossiysk.
By launching missiles in the direction of the Khizi region, located more than 300 kilometers from the hostilities’ territory, Armenia wanted to say that it keeps all Azerbaijan’s energy routes at gunpoint. Besides, forgetting that all these pipelines are regional projects, and any damage to them on the territory of Azerbaijan strikes at the interests of our partner countries and buyers of Azerbaijani fuel.
“After BTC and Southern Gas Corridor, this is another attempt to jeopardize the energy security of multiple countries,” SOCAR tweeted.
Moreover, Armenia stubbornly receives a backlash to these actions – our country’s partners do not only retreat from the project implementation, on the contrary, but they also support their long-standing and reliable friend in every possible way. Let’s recall at least the letter of the regional President of BP for Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey Gary Jones to the Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Ali Asadov, which expressed support for our people in the struggle to restore the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. “BP staff is making every effort to ensure the ongoing production and uninterrupted transportation of oil and gas during this period, which is of particular importance for Azerbaijan.” – Jones noted.
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