Odessa - Gdansk pipe will question the launch of Burgas - Alexandroupoli – «Transneft»

Extension of the Odessa – Brody oil pipeline to Plotsk and Gdansk will question the recommencement of Burgas - Alexandroupoli project implementation, - Igor Katsal, «Transneft» Deputy Vice-President, has noted in his interview to the corporate edition.

Answering the question on how the implementation of this project might influence the Russian freight flows, he said: «Now, with the commissioning of BPS-2, we are safe. The use of Odessa – Brody – Plotsk – Gdansk oil pipeline will simply substitute the cut down volumes of Russian oil – nothing more than that. It's another matter that it calls in question the perspectives of possible «unfreezing» of the Burgas - Alexandroupoli project».

Odessa – Brody oil pipeline was built in Ukraine in 2001 to ensure deliveries of the Caspian oil to Europe, bypassing Russia. Currently this pipeline stands idle due to the absence of a line to Plotsk and Gdansk in Poland. Last week Vladimir Makukha, Deputy Minister on Energy and Coal Industry, expressed a hope that Poland would complete its part of the oil pipeline to Plotsk and Gdansk.

«We also cannot take into consideration the fact that Ukraine has not abandoned the Sarmatia project – construction of the Odessa – Brody – Plotsk – Gdansk line. For some time Poland has also become interested in its implementation. Because now, when many suppliers prefer the line to Ust-Luga, towards Adamovo-Zastava, our volumes are by 1 million tons a month less than before. And this concerns approximately equally not only the Polish, but also the German market», – Katsal has noted.

It has been supposed that the Burgas - Alexandroupoli oil pipeline, with the annual capacity of 35 million tons and the possible growth up to 50 million tons, will be built from Burgas port at the Black Sea to Alexandroupoli port at the Aegean Sea. Burgas – Alexandroupoli oil pipeline, just like its competitor Samsun – Ceyhan, is intended for oil transportation by land, bypassing the over-trafficked Black Sea Bosporus and Dardanelles straits. In December last year the Bulgarian Government stated its intention to discontinue the validity of the intergovernmental agreement on the construction of the trans-Balkan oil pipeline. «Transneft», in its turn, has declared that the project is «frozen» and the parties may get back to it in future.

Katsal has also stated that there are no perspectives for recommencement of the Russian oil transit at the Odessa – Brody line – BPS-2 is completed, and all volumes, which have been previously transported via Ukraine, are now delivered via Ust-Luga.

At the same time, according to him, the probability of use of the Odessa – Brody – Budkovce line has risen, conditioned by the reduction in volumes of the Russian oil deliveries to Czech Republic.

«Obviously it has nothing to do with «Transneft» – this is the matter of suppliers and consumers, but you can't get away from facts. Ukraine, which needs to solve the problem of freight turnover losses at the Odessa – Brody line, is now negotiating with Slovakian Transpetrol Company, discussing the options for transportation of light Azerbaijan oil via Slovakia to Czech Republic. The Slovaks have not been interested in it before. But now, having lost 2-3 million tons of transit oil, they got a clear motivation», – Katsal has pointed out.

There are two pipes coming from Brody to Budkovce. According to the «Transneft» data, one is already filled with light Azerbaijan oil, and there are no technical problems to start the deliveries. «But resources are quite a different matter. Oil extraction in Azerbaijan goes down. There is no free oil for this line, because they also need to fill in Baku – Ceyhan», – he has added.

Adapted from: Novosti Gruzija
English Translation BSN