Bulgaria and Greece are studying whether it is possible to build an oil pipeline between Burgas and Alexandroupolis
Memorandums of cooperation between Bulgaria and Greece were signed in Athens to study the possibility of building an oil pipeline from Alexandroupolis to Burgas, as well as to guarantee gas supplies and natural gas storage. This was announced by international agencies after today`s visit of President Rumen Radev to our southern neighbor. The construction of an oil pipeline between Alexandroupolis and Burgas will provide real diversification and alternative oil supplies for the largest refinery in the Balkans, as well as for the Black Sea region. This was stated by President Rumen Radev today, quoted by BTA. The Bulgarian Head of State and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis held a meeting, after which they participated in a ceremony for the signing of bilateral memorandums between Bulgaria and Greece for cooperation in the study of the possibility of building an oil pipeline from Alexandroupolis to Burgas, as well as for cooperation in the matters of guaranteeing gas supply and storage of natural gas. The Bulgarian delegation, led by President Rumen Radev, includes the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policies and Minister of Transport and Communications Hristo Alexiev and the Minister of Energy Rosen Hristov. " The signed energy agreements are another step in the deepening of the strategic partnership between Bulgaria and Greece, based on common interests, mutual trust and shared European values, " pointed out Rumen Radev. The general position was that the political will at the highest level in Bulgaria and Greece is a factor in the search for joint practical solutions in a spirit of solidarity to the problems with the security of energy supplies, seriously disturbed as a result of Russia`s war against Ukraine. In an identical way, the issue of providing access to the Greek liquefied gas terminals and to the storage of natural gas in the gas storage facility in Chiren is extremely necessary for the development of the economies of Bulgaria and Greece. The documents signed today are of great importance for the whole of Europe and show what two member states of the European Union, united by the principles of good neighborliness and European values, can achieve together, Roumen Radev and Kyriakos Mitsotakis also emphasized. The two also noted the importance of ensuring reliable economic, transport and energy connectivity between Bulgaria and Greece for the construction of reliable supply chains along the North-South axis in the conditions of a deepening military conflict in the immediate vicinity. Rumen Radev expressed his appreciation for the visionary nature of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for the development of bilateral relations between Greece and Bulgaria in recent years, as well as for the solidarity shown and the support provided by Greece after the suspension of Russian natural gas supplies in April 2022. There was also a common position that Bulgaria and Greece are an example and have a key role in establishing security, stability and good neighborliness in the entire region of Southeast Europe, and the agreements signed today change the energy map of Southeast Europe. We remind you that for the first time the issue of restarting the project was raised last year by the Bulgarian government, after there was talk of sanctions on Russian oil. The construction of the project was agreed upon 15 years ago between Russia, Greece and Bulgaria during the time of President Georgi Parvanov. Then a " grand slam " was announced for Bulgaria from three energy projects - Belene NPP, South Stream gas pipeline and Burgas - Alexandroupolis. Then Russian President Vladimir Putin was visiting us. For now, the route of the Burgas - Alexandroupolis oil pipeline is planned to have a total length of 280 km, of which 155 km will pass through Kameno, Burgas, Sredets, Bolyarovo, Elhovo, Topolovgrad and Svilengrad on the territory of Bulgaria. The final crossing point of the Bulgarian-Greek border is between the village of Generalovo and the village of Kapitan Andreevo. Initially, the total value of the Bulgarian share of the oil pipeline was estimated at 227 million euros. The oil pipeline is planned to have an initial flow rate of 35 million tons of oil per year, with the possibility of increasing it to 50 million tons of oil per year. Chronology of events related to the oil pipeline construction project: On September 16, 1994, the Protocols of Intent for the construction of the oil pipeline were signed in Moscow, Russia, and Bulgaria was included in a tripartite agreement with Russia and Greece - the first phase of a broader framework agreement for transit transportation of crude oil from Novorossiysk to Greece. On November 1, 2002, in Athens, Greece, the Prime Ministers of Bulgaria and Greece, Simeon of Saxe-Coburg and Kostas Simitis, reached a political decision for the equal participation of Bulgaria, Greece and Russia in the construction of the oil pipeline. On May 27, 2006, a meeting of the Tripartite Working Committee on the project for the construction of the oil pipeline was held in Sofia. This is the first official meeting of the representatives of the three countries, after the signing of the tripartite memorandum of cooperation between the governments of Bulgaria, Greece and Russia for the construction of the oil pipeline on April 12, 2005. On June 1, 2006, by Decision of the Council of Ministers, it was accepted that " Project Company Neftoprovod Burgas - Alexandroupolis-BG " JSC will represent Bulgaria in the International Project Company, which will be created for the realization of the oil pipeline. The project company is a joint venture of " Universal Terminal Burgas " AD, which has 75 percent of the capital, and " Bulgargaz " - 25 percent. On February 7, 2007, in Burgas, the tripartite Interstate Agreement was signed by Bulgaria, Russia and Greece on cooperation for the construction and operation of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline. On March 15, 2007, in Athens, Greece, an Agreement on Cooperation in the Construction and Operation of the Burgas - Alexandroupolis Oil Pipeline was signed by the Minister of Industry and Energy of Russia Viktor Khristenko, the Minister of Development of Greece Dimitris Soufas and the Minister of Regional Development of Bulgaria Asen Gagauzov. On May 15, 2007, in Athens, Greece, the foundations of the Bourgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline were laid, in the presence of the Presidents of Russia and Greece, Vladimir Putin and Karolos Papoulias, as well as the Prime Ministers of Greece and Bulgaria, Konstantinos Karamanlis and Sergey Stanishev. On May 23, 2007, the State Duma of Russia (lower house of the parliament) ratified the Agreement between Russia, Bulgaria and Greece on cooperation in the construction and operation of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline. On May 30, 2007, the National Assembly of Bulgaria ratified the agreement. On January 11, 2008, in Athens, Greece, a Tripartite Agreement was initialed for the establishment of an International Project Company for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline by representatives of energy companies from the three countries. On January 16, 2009, by decision 21 of the Council of Ministers, the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline was designated as an object of national importance. On December 7, 2011, the Council of Ministers adopted a decision to terminate Bulgaria`s participation in the tripartite agreement between the governments of Russia, Bulgaria and Greece on cooperation in the construction and operation of the oil pipeline " Burgas - Alexandroupolis ", concluded on March 15, 2007. Bulgaria proposes that the tripartite intergovernmental agreement on the oil pipeline be terminated by mutual agreement. If such an agreement is not reached, the Bulgarian side will withdraw on its own after the expiration of 12 months. The decision was made in connection with the conclusions made during the first stage of the work of the International Project Company - the project development phase. According to the analyses, the oil pipeline cannot be implemented under the conditions stipulated in the 2007 agreement. On March 12, 2013, the National Assembly adopted a law on the denunciation of the Agreement between Russia, Bulgaria and Greece on cooperation in the construction and operation of the Burgas - Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, ratified by law by the National Assembly on May 30, 2007. On August 2, 2017, the Council of Ministers adopted a decision by which the Minister of Energy will exercise the rights of the state as the sole owner of the capital of " Project Company Neftoprovod Burgas - Alexandroupolis BG " EAD - Sofia.