The pipeline would pump an average of 60 million tons/yr of oil from Romania’s Black Sea port of Constanta into the Transalpine pipeline, which supplies storage terminals and refineries in Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic via Trieste, Italy. “The new pipe would cover for a future deficit of oil in Europe, especially as there won’t be much oil left in the North Sea by 2025,” Romanian Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Grigorescu said. “This new pipeline could reach maximum capacity in 2014 at the latest.”
Mr Grigorescu said the six countries, which also include Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia, have agreed to a larger pipeline than that considered in 2001, which was originally planned at 15 million tons/yr. The actual construction of the pipeline should start at the end of next year, Grigorescu said at the end of a meeting with government representatives from all six countries involved in the project, and the pipeline will provide an alternative to the CPT line now being built between Baku and Turkey’s port of Ceyhan.
“It is also meant to ease tanker traffic in the Bosporus Straits, as well as ease pumping of about 800 million tons via pipelines across the Mediterranean Sea each year,” Grigorescu said. The feasibility study on the pipeline project would be financed by the European Union, and construction of the actual pipe has already attracted interest from “very many investors,” the minister confirmed.
ENI, Italy’s largest oil company, proposed construction of a similar pipeline in 1998. It said then that building a pipeline through Romania and Serbia would cost about $ 1.2 billion, using some existing pipes in both countries. That pipeline would have carried no more than 35 million tons/yr of oil. “This pipeline will be the shortest way for Caspian oil to reach the European market,” said Serbia’s Slobodan Sokolovic, the head of the committee made up of representatives of the six countries considering the project. “It would also help add stability in the region.”