24 Mar 2010 13:31

Consortium may manage Burgas-Alexandropolis, Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline shipments

MOSCOW. March 24 (Interfax) - An international consortium may take on the job of managing oil deliveries through the future Burgas-Alexandropolis and Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipelines, the Russian oil pipeline company Transneft's president, Nikolai Tokarev, said during a Vesti24 television interview.

"We have always considered it completely feasible to set up an international consortium that would manage oil shipments via the two pipeline directions - through Burgas-Alexandropolis and Samsun-Ceyhan," Tokarev said.

Transneft has said it was discussing the idea of merging the two legal entities - the respective pipeline operators - into a single consortium.

All the countries involved in these projects have joined the work on these issues with the exception of Bulgaria, Tokarev said. Companies that are potential users of the oil pipelines are also expressing interest.

"All this is now being worked on. All project participants, well, excluding Bulgaria, are working on this actively. Kazakh companies are signing on, Chevron has shown interest. I cannot rule out that we will come to common understanding on all the processes involved in the realization of these projects," Tokarev said.

The plan is for the Burgas-Alexandropolis oil pipeline to run through Greece and Bulgaria and allow the amount of tanker-transported oil through the Bosporus and Dardanelles to be reduced. The 285-km pipeline's throughput capacity is figured at 35 million tonnes annually, with increases possible up to 50 million tonnes per year. The building cost is estimated at around 1 billion euros. Trans-Balkan Pipeline BV, registered in Amsterdam on February 7, 2008, will be the pipeline's owner. Its founders are: TK-BA (Russia) with 51%, Project Company Burgas-Alexandropolis BG (Bulgaria) with 24.5%, Helle C.A. - Traki C.A. (Greece) with 23.5%, and the Greek government with 1%.

The founders of TK-BA, created on January 18, 2007, were: Russian oil pipeline company Transneft ( with 33.34%, Gazprom Neft with 33.33%, and Rosneft with 33.33%.

The Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline runs from northern to southern Turkey around the Bosporus and Dardanelles. The project's goal is delivering oil from the Black Sea basin to markets in Europe. After construction is complete, the 555-km pipeline's throughput capacity will reach 1.5 million barrels per day. Eni, Calik, Rosneft, and Transneft inked a memorandum of mutual understanding last October, envisioning the possibility of setting up a joint venture for the Samsun-Ceyhan project.