Eastern Europe’s Pipe(line) Dreams?

Noticed via an Energy Daily article, that Azerbaijan, Poland, Lithuania, Georgia and Ukraine recently signed a deal to build a $700 million pipeline to pump Azerbaijani oil to Poland and the Baltic Sea, a pipeline that could provide Eastern (and ultimately Western) Europe with an alternative to Russian oil imports.

“…The new pipeline, to be completed in 2011, is a 310-mile extension to an existing one in western Ukraine. It bypasses Russian territory northwestward and links the existing pipeline to the Polish Baltic Sea port of Gdansk….

…But whether the new pipeline extension would be a viable alternative remains unclear: A key country to get on board would be Kazakhstan, the largest oil producer in the region, but while it was present in Vilnius, it so far has resisted joining the project.

The only country that could fill the pipeline with crude is Azerbaijan, but experts doubt that it will use up all its production capacity (which will reach some 55 million tons a year) for the new project, especially given other commitments.”

However, given the existence of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline which links the Azerbaijani capital of Baku with Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia; and Ceyhan, a port on the southeastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, it seems unlikely that this project will actually be realized. Not only is the BTC a new oil pipeline (in use since May 2005), but it is also the second longest in the world, and one that is supplied with nearly all of Azerbaijan’s oil.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 14th, 2007 at 8:04 pm and is filed under Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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