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MOL reaches historic milestone by bringing oil from Azerbaijan to its Bratislava refinery

A shipment of crude oil extracted from the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) oil field in Azerbaijan – partly owned by MOL Group – arrives for the first time to Slovnaft’s refinery in Bratislava via the Adriatic pipeline. This is an important step as MOL aims to increase the flexibility of crude oil procurement.

The tanker Seavelvet delivered the crude oil shipment of 90,000 tons from the port of Ceyhan in Turkey to Omisalj in Croatia, which will then be transported to MOL subsidiary, Slovnaft’s Bratislava refinery via the Adriatic pipeline.

Hungarian oil and gas company, MOL has thus created a fully integrated value chain, as the group can now sell petroleum products processed in its own refinery from crude oil extracted from its own field. The shipment was transported from the Sangachal oil terminal near Baku to Ceyhan via the BTC oil pipeline, which is also partly owned by MOL Group.

The processing of Azeri Light produced in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli oil field – in which MOL owns a 9.57 per cent stake – will begin in April. The company says that several types of oil from the Middle East and the Caspian Sea have been successfully tested in Slovnaft’s refinery. However, the refining of crude oil from MOL’s own field is another important milestone, which increases the flexibility of crude oil procurement, especially in the current context of EU sanctions on Russian crude oil products.

“The shipment of the Azeri Light crude oil is extremely important for us, as it shows the flexibility we have achieved in procurement. It also creates the opportunity to cover our entire value chain, from extraction to sales, which is a serious achievement,” said Gábriel Szabó, Executive Vice President of Downstream at MOL Group.

MOL aspires to become an increasingly important economic link between Azerbaijan and Central and Eastern Europe. The company acquired a 9.57 per cent stake in the ACG oil field, one of the flagships of the Azerbaijani economy, and an 8.9 per cent stake in the BTC (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan) pipeline back in 2020.

“This shipment underscores our decision to become a co-owner of the ACG oil field in Azerbaijan. Our ability to supply our refineries with crude oil coming outside of Europe provides us with additional flexibility in this period of rapid change. We can therefore flexibly decide whether to sell our share of the crude oil extracted at ACG, or whether to transport it to the Central-Eastern European region, thus contributing to the security of the energy supply. This is also a great opportunity to strengthen the cooperation between MOL Group’s key business divisions, Upstream and Downstream,” said Zsombor Marton, Executive Vice President of Exploration & Production at MOL Group.

MOL Group is the third largest investor in the ACG project after BP and SOCAR. This field accounts for 15 per cent of the company’s total production and 25 per cent of its total reserves. The BTC pipeline can play an important role in the supply of MOL Group’s refineries in Bratislava in Slovakia and Százhalombatta in Hungary.

MOL added that it continues to import Russian petroleum products through the Druzhba pipeline, as it is convinced that the security of the fuel supply to Central and Eastern Europe can best be guaranteed if, in addition to finding and securing alternative supply routes, the traditional supply channels remain intact.

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