Russia proposes building Bulgarian-Greek oil pipeline

Oct 20, 2004 02:00 AM

One of the main discussions during Russian Premier Mikhail Fradkov's visit to Bulgaria focused on the construction of a Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline to link Bulgaria with Greece.
This projected route would facilitate the transportation of Russia oil that is now carried by tankers via the Bosporus and the Dardanelles.

Mr Fradkov made a statement after his talks with Bulgaria's Prime Minister Simeon Saxe Coburg-Gotha. According to Mr Fradkov, the governments of Russia and Bulgaria deemed it expedient to pump additional Russian gas via Bulgarian territory.
However, the pipeline issue remains to be settled. In Moscow's opinion, present oil-pipeline costs are too high.

Viktor Khristenko, Russia's industry and energy minister, who is also a member of the Russian delegation, noted that Russia, Bulgaria and Greece were drafting a pipeline-construction memorandum. According to Mr Fradkov, this document is at the discussion stage with parties setting out their interests.
Mr Khristenko indirectly admitted that it would become possible to involve companies in this project only after the memorandum is signed.

LUKoil virtually coordinates the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil-pipeline project and the company's president, Vagit Alekperov, was also a member of the Russian delegation to Bulgaria.
This is hardly surprising because LUKoil owns substantial assets in Bulgaria, including a Burgas oil refinery (where the pipeline is scheduled to begin), as well over a hundred gasoline stations.

Source: RIA Novosti
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