Bulgaria: Greek pipeline deal
THE GOVERNMENTS of Bulgaria, Greece, and Russia are finally to sign an agreement on 6 April to construct an oil pipeline to export Russian oil via the Black Sea to the Aegean, according to Bulgaria’s deputy minister for construction and development Hassan Hassan. The three-country memorandum for the project, worth å£300-400 million, will be signed in Athens, Hassan said.
Construction of the 320-km pipeline between Bulgaria and Greece is due to begin in 2003 and be completed by 2007. The new pipeline will form part of a system to carry 35 million tons/yr of oil per year from the Caspian Sea via an existing pipeline to the Russian port of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea, by tanker to the Bulgarian port of Burgas, and onwards to the Greek port of Alexandroupolis. Bulgaria wants a 33% share in the trilaterial consortium which will construct and operate the pipeline, although Greece wants Bulgaria’s share to be limited to 20%, Hassan said. The investment should be reimbursed within 7-10 years. The project has been under discussion since 1995, but was relaunched after the inauguration last November of the 1500-km pipeline linking the Caspian oilfields to the Novorossiysk.