Jan-March Oil Shipments From Georgia's Batumi Down 54% YOY
TBILISI, April 4 (Reuters) - Oil and oil-related shipments from Georgia's Black Sea port of Batumi fell 53.7 percent between January and March from a year earlier, an official at the KazMunaiGas-operated terminal said on Wednesday.
The official said some volumes of crude oil had been rerouted to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and to the Caspian Pipeline Consortium this year, while some fuel oil had been sent to the port of Taman in Russia and Georgia's other Black Sea port of Kulevi.
About ten Batumi terminal employees of went on strike on April 2 to demand the resignation of the terminal's head and a halt to a planned reorganisation that might lead to job cuts.
Officials involved in strike negotiations said the stoppage had not disrupted the terminal's operations, though the port was blocked for couple of hours on Tuesday.
"That did not impact oil shipments as there were no tankers loaded with oil coming in or out from the port at that time," a spokesman for KazTransOil said.
January-March shipments of crude oil and refined oil products from Batumi totalled 300,527 tonnes, said the official, who asked not to be identified.
In March alone, overall shipments were 98,205 tonnes, compared with 93,858 tonnes the previous month and 248,723 in March last year.
There were no shipments of crude oil, gasoil, naphtha, and fuel oil last month.
Shipments of crude oil and refined oil products from Batumi totalled 2.109 million tonnes in 2017, down from 3.377 million in 2016.
Crude and refined oil products from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are shipped out of Georgia's Black Sea ports of Batumi, Supsa, Poti and a terminal in Kulevi.
Some products are transported across the Caspian Sea in small tankers, unloaded in the Azeri port of Baku and then sent by rail to Georgian ports for export to the Mediterranean.
(Reporting by Margarita Antidze, additional reporting by Alla Afanasyeva in MOSCOW; editing by John Stonestreet)
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