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Kazakhstan's TCO to boost crude exports via Georgia in Jan-Feb -sources

MOSCOW, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan's Tengizchevroil (TCO) plans to boost its crude oil exports via Georgia's Black Sea port of Batumi in January-February to 150,000 tonnes, two industry sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

TCO's monthly exports via Batumi last year averaged about 21,000 tonnes, rail data seen by Reuters showed.

The company's main export route is the Caspian Pipeline Consortium pipeline, which terminates in Russia, but it is seeking alternatives to avoid any risks that could arise from European sanctions on Moscow.

Controlled by U.S. company Chevron (CVX), TCO plans to send 100,000 tonnes of oil in January and 50,000 tonnes in February by rail to Batumi for seaborne exports, the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

However the actual volume shipped in January is not yet known and traders said they had not spotted the TCO barrels in Batumi.

A spokeswoman for Chevron (CVX) emailed by Reuters declined to comment.

Kazakhstan's pipeline operator Kaztransoil, which owns Batumi terminal, was not able to provide an immediate comment requested by Reuters.

TCO also boosted exports vis Batumi in December. It exported 50,700 tonnes of oil via Batumi, taking its 2022 shipments via the port to 252,510 tonnes, rail data showed.

The route cannot offer the economics or volumes which the CPC pipeline does, a trader noted, but added: "Profitability of oil exports via Batumi is lower, but having an alternative is important, it's a question of security."

Chevron (CVX) holds a 50% stake in TCO, Exxon Mobil (XOM) owns 25%, Kazakh state firm Kazmunaigas holds 20% and 5% belongs to Russia's Lukoil. (Reporting by Reuters)

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