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Increased oil flow in the Caspian Sea is intensifying competition between Russia's Volgotanker and Caspar of Azerbaijan, the two major tanker operators in the region.

According to Andrei Kleimenov, head of marketing for Volgotanker, the total crude oil production in the Caspian this year will increase by more than 15 percent. He said the volume growth comes from greater output from the region's onshore and offshore oilfields.
"Our main competitor in the Caspian is Caspar," Kleimenov told The Russia Journal. "But Caspar operates only about 14 vessels in the Caspian Sea, and only some of them are double-hulled. Meanwhile, all Volgotanker maritime tankers are double-hulled and double-bottomed."
He added that Volgotanker will have 25 vessels available for tankerage during the winter season which the company intends to start in October. Additional sea barges are being planned for construction to add capacity to the fleet.