Greece and Bulgaria to Consider Reviving 186-Mile Oil Pipeline Project

(Reuters) — Greece and Bulgaria will consider reviving a pipeline project to transport crude oil from the Greek port of Alexandroupolis on the Aegean Sea to Bulgaria’s Black Sea port of Burgas, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday.

Bulgaria has been looking to build a 300 km (186 miles) trans-Balkan oil pipeline to secure non-Russian crude oil supplies for its only oil refinery on the Black Sea.

After a meeting with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev in Athens, Mitsotakis said the pipeline would offer Bulgaria alternative supply sources and a “safer, faster and cheaper” way to transfer the fuel, with oil tankers bypassing the now congested Bosphorus Strait.

“The oil pipeline Alexandroupolis-Burgas has a strategic importance for our country because it would provide an opportunity for a real diversification and supplies of non-Russian oil to our refinery in Burgas,” Radev said.

With Moscow having cut gas supplies to Bulgaria in the wake of the war in Ukraine, Greece has offered gas through its sole LNG terminal at Revithoussa west of Athens.

Expanding their cooperation, Greece and Bulgaria also agreed that Greek power producers will be able to store gas in Bulgaria while Bulgarian companies could use Revithoussa, Mitsotakis said.

“Both countries will have secured access to crucial infrastructure for their energy security,” he said.

Greece wants to become a key European transit route for gas travelling to the Balkan region through the Mediterranean Sea and further to the north thanks to new gas infrastructure under development.

Last year Athens ramped up deliveries of LNG, mainly from the United States and Egypt.

Gas grid operator DESFA plans to spend about 1 billion euros to expand network capacity by 2032, enabling Greece to nearly quadruple its gas export capacity to neighboring countries.

Greece and Egypt are also looking to build a 950-km (590-mile) undersea cable that would carry cheap renewable power from Egypt to Europe, possibly linked to the power grids of Israel and Cyprus.

“Bulgaria is ready to cooperate with Greece for the large-scale project to transport green energy from Northern Africa, from the Middle East through Greece to Europe,” Radev added. 


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