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    MOSCOW, January 13. /RIA Novosti correspondent/. The commissioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, along which Azerbaijani oil will be delivered to the Turkish port of Ceyhan in the eastern Mediterranean and then further to Europe, will not considerably change the existing situation in the market of oil transportation, believes Sergei Grigoryev, vice-president of the Russian Transneft company.

    "The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is yet to prove in practice its competitiveness to the existing northern - Russian - route Baku-Makhachkala-Novorossiisk. On the other hand, we are not embarrassed by the possibility of a decline in the Azerbaijani side's requirements for the Russian pipeline", Grigoryev said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

    In his opinion, the Azerbaijani side will never exceed the five million tons a year that Baku promised for the Russian pipeline, while the two and half million tons that are being supplied now are "not the volumes that really matter or may considerably influence the work of the pipeline." In Grigoryev's words, Transneft will have no problem compensating for these two and a half million tons with Turkmen or Kazakh oil.

    Baku is not interested in a new agreement with Russia on oil transit along the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline, a representative of the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan stated recently.

    "The comparison of tariffs for oil transportation along the route Baku-Supsa and Baku-Novorossiisk is not in favor of the Russian variant. After the commissioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in 2005, the requirements for the Russian variant will diminish altogether," the representative of the State Oil Company explained Baku's position.

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