BAKU Nov 12 Azeri state oil firm Socar will not
open its new 10 million tonne capacity oil terminal in Georgia
until the country's state of emergency is lifted, a source at
the company told Reuters on Monday.
"We have finished building the terminal in Kulevi, but its
opening... may happen in the last part of November after
Georgia's state of emergency is lifted," the source said.
The terminal, on Georgia's Black Sea coast, could be opened
at a ceremony attended by the presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia
and Turkey, he added.
Georgia's parliament unanimously endorsed President Mikhail
Saakashvili's 15-day state of emergency decree late last week,
which he imposed after police stopped a peaceful anti-government
rally in the capital Tbilisi.
The Kulevi terminal will be used for refined products from
Socar, later shifting to crude exports which will be transported
to Georgia's Batumi port on the Black Sea.
Oil and refined products from Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan
will also go to Kulevi via Azerbaijan.
"In its first year of operation nearly 5 million tonnes of
oil and refined products could go to Kulevi, after that it could
go up," the source at Socar said.
Socar has previously said shipments could reach 10 million
tonnes a year (200,000 barrels per day).
The Kulevi terminal was bought by the Azeri state energy
company last year from a Georgian businessman.
Socar produces 5 million tonnes of refined oil products
annually, 2 million of which are exported. Almost 9 million
tonnes of crude oil is produced a year at its fields, which are
(Reporting by Lada Yevgrashina, writing by Amie Ferris-Rotman)