Russia and Eurasia

‘Samsun-Ceyhan pipe talks stalled’


By Upstream | 17 September 2010

The head of Russia’s oil pipeline monopoly Transneft said today that talks on building the Samsun-Ceyhan oil link between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean in Turkey have stalled.
He also said that a rival project, the trans-Balkan pipeline from the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas to the Greek port of Alexandroupolis, which will bypass the traffic-clogged Bosphorus Straits, is a more attractive project.


“Of course, Burgas-Alexandroupolis would be more convenient (to use)… We had done a lot, prepared a feasibility study, we could have started constructing (the link) already this year,” Nikolai Tokarev said at the Reuters Summit in Moscow.


“As far as Samsun-Ceyhan is concerned, there are lots of questions, which are hard to find answers for,” he said, adding that the proposed shipment tariffs for the link are less attractive than fees imposed for using the Bosphorus Straits.


In 2007, after decades of political bickering, Bulgaria’s previous Socialist-led government signed a deal with Russia and Greece to build the trans-Balkan pipeline.


But in June, Bulgaria indicated it wants to abandon the project, estimated to cost about €1 billion ($1.29 billion), due to serious environmental risks and lack of enough economic benefits for the EU’s poorest member.


Transneft owns over 33% in the pipeline.


Russia’s largest crude producer, Rosneft and Gazprom Neft , an oil arm of gas giant Gazprom , share control over the same size, the rest is owned by Greece and Bulgaria.

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