Trans-Balkan oil pipeline cost rises to €1.5 bln

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The cost of the trans-Balkan oil pipeline being built by Russia, Bulgaria, and Greece has increased to €1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) from €1 billion ($1.55 billion), the project operator said on Wednesday.

Russia, Bulgaria, and Greece signed a memorandum on the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline in April 2005. Once completed, the pipeline will pump 35 million metric tons of oil a year (257.25 million bbl), a volume that could eventually be increased to 50 million metric tons (367.5 million bbl). Nikolai Seryogin, a member of the supervisory board of the Trans-Balkan Oil Pipeline project company, said the price increase was due to growth in the prices of metal and pipe products, adding that a final costing would be made after an adjusted feasibility study for the project has been conducted. Seryogin said construction of the pipeline, expected to take from eight to twelve months, would begin in 2009. Under an inter-governmental agreement signed in 2007, Russia holds 51% in the project company, while Greece and Bulgaria hold 24.5% each. (rian.ru)

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