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Shipments of Azeri crude oil from the southern Turkish port of Ceyhan are not expected to be restored until late next week, as assessment of the damage from Monday’s earthquakes continues, a source with knowledge of a preliminary estimate told Bloomberg on Thursday.
Earlier estimates suggested that the terminal at Ceyhan hosting the pipeline from Azerbaijan was expected to return to operations on Wednesday or Thursday.
The timeline seems to have been pushed by at least a week as authorities and stakeholders continue to assess damages following the devastating earthquakes in southern Turkey and northern Syria, which killed more than 15,000 people, with thousands more feared dead as of Thursday.
BP Azerbaijan has declared force majeure on loadings of Azeri crude from Ceyhan following the earthquake in southern Turkey and northern Syria earlier this week, the Azeri unit of the UK-based supermajor told Reuters on Wednesday.
BP Azerbaijan is the operator of the sections of the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline in Azerbaijan and Georgia. Ceyhan is the key export outlet for Azerbaijan’s oil and ships out around 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Azeri crude.
The Ceyhan oil terminal temporarily suspended operations on Monday after the earthquake. The oil terminal is located around 155 kilometers, or 96 miles, from the epicenter of the earthquake.
Crude oil flows from Iraq to Ceyhan resumed on Tuesday, industry sources told Reuters.
BP Azerbaijan told Reuters on Thursday that Azeri crude oil continues to flow via the pipeline to Ceyhan, which remains closed for loadings from the BTC pipeline. It was not immediately clear how much spare storage is left at the Ceyhan port.
The Sangachal Terminal on the Caspian Sea coast in Azerbaijan has enough storage capacity for four days’ worth of crude oil flows in case Ceyhan’s storage hits capacity, sources have told Reuters.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,