Kazakhstan eyes 49 % stake in Greek/Bulgarian oil pipeline shares

Jun 11, 2007 02:00 AM

Kazakhstan will start negotiations to acquire 49 % of the shares that Sofia and Athens have in the oil pipeline that will run between the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas and the Greek Aegean Sea port of Alexandroupolis.
Talks are underway to sell the shares controlled by Bulgaria and Greece to oil corporations that will ensure the oil deliveries. This option is provided for in the trilateral agreement for the construction of the pipeline signed by Russia, Greece and Bulgaria.

According to sources close to the project, Moscow would like to see a prompt sale of the shares and is reportedly backing Kazakhstan entry in the project. Russia has reportedly insisted that Sofia respond to the invitation for the negotiations.
Bulgarian regional development minister Asen Gagauzov confirmed that Kazakhstan is keen to join the project but said that such negotiations could be launched after the incorporation of the company that will design and build the pipeline.

Simeon Vainshtok, president of Russia's Transneft which has been tapped to operate the oil pipeline, said that US company Chevron and Russian-British company TNK-BP will likely negotiate for the Bulgaria and Greek stakes in the project.
Transneft has also asked the Bulgarian side to speed up work on the pipeline project.

Source: Dnevnik a.m.
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