Greece and Bulgaria are likely to sign a Memorandum of Understanding in Athens next month for the development of an oil pipeline to run from Alexandroupoli in Greece’s northeast to Burgas, on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, sources have informed.
If so, a joint Greek-Bulgarian working group would soon commence work on a new study for the project, unchanged at many sections, compared to an original plan.
However, contrary to the original plan, the pipeline will flow in the opposite direction to supply oil from Greece to Bulgaria.
This project promises to further upgrade the geopolitical significance of Alexandroupoli, a prospect not embraced by Turkey as the pipeline would reduce the geopolitical importance of the Bosphorus Strait.
The Alexandroupoli-Burgas oil pipeline, to cover a 260-km distance, equally divided between Greece and Bulgaria, is planned to have a 24-inch diameter and capacity of 10 million tons.
Oil will be transported to Burgas’ Lukoil refinery, which will need a capacity boost from 7 to 8 million tons at present to 10 million tons.
The revised oil pipeline plan appears to have the backing of the EU and the USA, as part of Europe’s wider effort aiming for an end of its reliance on Russian fossil fuels.
Officials estimate work on the Alexandroupoli-Burgas oil pipeline will begin in one to two years for a possible launch in three to four years’ time.