Following months of diplomatic and entrepreneurial activity, Greek energy minister Kostas Skrekas and his Bulgarian counterpart, Rossen Hristov, have just signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Athens for the development of an oil pipeline to run from Alexandroupoli in Greece’s northeast to Burgas, on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.
The two ministers signed the MoU within the framework of a meeting between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Bulgarian President Rumen Radev.
Greece’s Alexandroupoli port – developing into one of the eastern Mediterranean’s most pivotal energy hubs as a result of the reversal of energy source flow, nowadays moving from south to north as a result of Europe’s decision to end its reliance on Russian fossil fuels – will facilitate oil primarily imported from the Middle East and headed to east European markets.
The oil pipeline will cover a distance of 260 kilometers, equally divided between Greece and Bulgaria, and offer an annual capacity of 10 million tons, down from an original plan of between 35 and 50 million tons.
A section of the Greek-Bulgarian oil pipeline is planned to run parallel to the IGB gas pipeline linking the neighboring countries.
Work on the oil pipeline is expected to begin within the next two years, while its completion is slated for three to four years from now, a swift procedure for such projects, as environmental permits have already been issued.
The Greek-Bulgarian oil pipeline has not been embraced by Turkey as it will reduce the geopolitical importance of the Bosphorus Strait. Contrary to the past, the US is now expressing full support for the Greek-Bulgarian oil pipeline.