Bulgarian Move Nettles Russian Officials

August 2011, Vol. 238 No. 8

Russia’s oil pipeline operator Transneft is considering if it should attempt further cooperation with Bulgaria on the trans-Balkan Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project.

Transneft President Nikolai Tokarev commented shortly after Bulgaria again delayed the controversial project, pending a second environmental assessment report.

“I consider this an insult to our position (on the part of Bulgaria) and partners do not act like this. We can’t indefinitely finance this project and will discuss the expediency of cooperation with the Bulgarian side,” Tokarev said.

The 300-km pipeline would link the Black Sea port of Burgas to Alexandroupolis on the Aegean Sea. It is designed to transport 35 million tons of oil a year with a possible expansion to 50 million tons to ease tanker traffic in the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles straits.

Transneft would not rule out finding a route bypassing Bulgaria to deliver Russian oil through Greece to the Mediterranean, Tokarev said. The project company Trans-Balkan Pipeline (TPP) was given two more months to fix deficiencies in its construction plan.

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