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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Socar to Up Oil Exports Via Russia

BAKU, Azerbaijan — The Azeri State Oil Co., or Socar, will boost oil exports along the so-called northern route running through Russia to 3 million tons next year, senior vice president Ilkham Aliyev said Friday.

Azerbaijan is expected to transport about 2.3 million tons of oil along a pipeline from the capital, Baku, to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk this year in exchange for Russian natural gas for Azerbaijan's electric power and heating stations.

"For example, we can sell 3 million tons of oil in Novorossiisk a year and our profit will exceed $500 million. For that sum you can buy 10 billion cubic meters of gas," Aliyev said. "In this way we solve all the domestic problems of the country and for all that Socar receives a profit."

The U.S. government is urging oil companies investing in the Caspian region to support a pipeline project that is to run from Baku to Turkey's port of Ceyhan that would create a "southern route" for exports from the region that would foster independence from Russian infrastructure.