A spokesman with the Russian oil transportation monopoly, the Transneft, on Wednesday said the company had no plans to close down the Burgas-Dedeagac (Alexandroupolis) pipeline project that would carry Russian oil to western markets via Bulgaria and Greece.
"The question of closing the project is not on the agenda," Igor Dyomin told Itar-Tass news agency, adding, however, that the company would minimize administrative costs.
A report which appeared today in Russian daily Vedomosti said Rosneft and Gazprom Neft, the two shareholders in the Transneft, were expected to announce at a Rome meeting on Thursday their withdrawal from the project which would bypass the Turkish Straits and challenge a rival pipeline project that would carry Russian oil from Turkey's the Black Sea port city of Samsun to the Mediterranean oil terminal in Ceyhan.
The Burgas-Dedeagac project is planned to carry Russian oil to Greece's Dedeagac Port with a 288 km long pipeline, from Bulgaria's Burgas port. The construction of the pipeline was projected to be completed by the end of 2011 and it is expected to transport 35-50 millions of tons of oil a year.
Citing sources close to the Transneft, Vedomosti said Russian oil companies would shift interest to the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline project.
Russian Deputy Premier Igor Sechin said last December that Turkey and Russia might reach an agreement by March over possible Russian investments in the Samsun-Ceyhan project.
The Samsun-Ceyhan Pipeline is expected to carry 60-70 million tons of oil every year.
AAGüncelleme Tarihi: 16 Şubat 2011, 17:56