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Azerbaijan could cut oil exports via Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline

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Azerbaijan is considering cutting the volume of oil exports to Russia via the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline due to natural gas price hikes, the Azerbaijani president said Sunday.
BAKU, December 3 (RIA Novosti) - Azerbaijan is considering cutting the volume of oil exports to Russia via the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline due to natural gas price hikes, the Azerbaijani president said Sunday.

Since last year, Russian energy giant Gazprom has been pushing for European prices for the gas it sells to its ex-Soviet neighbors, which previously enjoyed preferential rates.

Azerbaijan produces some 4-5 billion cubic meters of gas compared with the country's requirements of 10-11 billion cubic meters a year, Ilham Aliyev said.

"That is why, we are considering Russia's proposal [on raising the price of natural gas supplied to Azerbaijan to $230 per 1,000 cubic meters]. But it is obvious that $230 per 1,000 cubic meters is a very high price," Aliyev said.

Azerbaijan is receiving Russian natural gas at the price of $110 per 1,000 cubic meters this year.

Azerbaijan has no other way to ensure its electricity security but to reduce the volume of oil exported via the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline to Russia, Aliyev said.

"If we fail to receive gas from Russia, we'll have to produce electricity from fuel oil and fuel oil can be obtained from oil refining," Aliyev said.

Aliyev said one or two weeks were left before making a final decision.

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