A deal that would build a pipeline linking Russian oil to the Mediterranean,avoiding the busy
The 280km pipeline from
Costing $1.2 billion, the pipeline will be 51per cent Russian owned, leaving EU-members
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The Russian consortium is made up of state oil company OAORosneft, Transneft, and a subsidiary of state-controlled gas giant OAO Gazprom.
They will be responsible for the infrastructure, pumping stations, storagefacilities and loading docks.
Claudia Kemfert, an analyst at the German Institute forEconomic Research, said: "
"You get a strengthening of supply, but it can createhigher dependency and other problems. You always have a trade-off ... to avoidthis we need more diversification on the supply side, and to be less dependenton Russian energy," Kemfert said.
"We need to look more to the global market ... butpipelines are not that flexible."
The 90cm (36-inch) diameter pipeline will channel700,000 barrels of oil a day to
On Monday, Matthew Bryza, US deputy assistant secretary ofstate for European and Eurasian affairs, visited Athens and expressed supportfor the project.
But he said: "Where we are focusing most urgently nowis diversification of gas supply ... away from its one primary supplier,Gazprom."
US officials want Greece to prioritise gas from Azerbaijanin a natural gas network being built from central Asia to Greece through Turkeythat is due to continue onto Italy after 2011.