Russia promises to boost capacity of gas pipeline to Greece

Mar 06, 2002 01:00 AM

Georgios Agrafiotis, the general secretary of Greece's Development Ministry, said that Moscow had promised to double the capacity of the pipeline that carries Russian natural gas into Greece. Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his visit to Athens in late 2001 that the pipeline's capacity would be increased from the current level of 3 bn cmpy to 6 bn cmpy, he said.

Agrafiotis noted, however, that Greek demand for natural gas was expected to exceed 7.5 bn cmpy in the near future. As such, he said, the country is exploring other gas transport options. Development Minister Akis Tzochatzopoulos is due to visit Tehran and the Caspian Sea basin later this year for talks on gas supplies, he said. But first, he said, Tzochatzopoulos will go to Ankara to discuss plans for the construction of a pipeline that would bring Iranian gas to Greece via Turkey.
This pipeline would be an extension of the recently finished pipeline between Tabriz and Erzurum, he said. The line would run from Ankara to Komotini in north-eastern Greece, and Athens plans to use European Union funds to extend the line to Italy, he added.

It is not clear whether Russian or Caspian gas might also flow through this line into Italy. Several years ago, Shell announced plans to study proposals for connecting the Turkish and Greek pipeline networks so as to facilitate the delivery of Turkmenistani gas to Europe.
The feasibility study was to have been conducted in conjunction with plans for the construction of a trans-Caspian gas pipeline, but that project has since been abandoned.

Source: NewsBase
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