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Gas and Oil in the Focus of Greek-Russian Mutual Interests
December 20, 2007 15:20

Greek_ MP_Costas_ Karamanlis

Yesterday the three day official visit of the Greek MP Costas Karamanlis to Moscow was over. It was the fifth Russia-Greek meeting at the high level for the last two years. The main result of the meeting is the Russia’s claim to supply double as much gas to Greece up to 2040. The energy project, including Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, the South Stream gas pipeline, trade-economic cooperation, Kosovo, Cyprus and Near East problems were in the focus of the negotiations.

Yesterday the Russia’s head claimed that Russia is ready to sign additional agreements with Greece on the double as much gas supply up to 2040. Analytics consider that the possible long-turn Russia-Greece agreement may derail Greece-Azerbaijan negotiations on Azeri gas supply to Greece. It is worth taking into consideration that the gas assets at the largest Azeri gas minefield is about 1 trillion cubic meters, while Gazprom disposes about 30 trillion cubic meters.

Annually Greece consumes about 3.2 billion cubic meters of gas. Last year Gazprom supplied 2.7 billion cubic meters of the fuel to this country. Also Greece got about 0.5 billion cubic meters as a CNG from Alger. Some times ago Greece planed to bring down its dependency from the Russian gas, cutting its share form 84% up to 45% by 2010.

Yesterday the Geek PM admitted that Greece is interested in signing additional agreements after 2016 on Russian gas supplies up to 2040, with gas volume doubled.


Russia is a credible partner for Greece as Russia has already experience in long-turn gas agreements with Europe.

Gazprom is able to find out the necessary gas volumes to satisfy Greek needs till 2040. Gazprom finds such an agreement rather beneficial, as the gas price is adjusted according to an index. But to realize these ambitions Russia will be able only after the gas pipeline South Stream will be completely built.

South Stream is a gas pipeline to transport Russian natural gas to Italy and transit countries. The pipeline is planned to carry 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually. The 900 kilometers long offshore section of South Stream would start from the Beregovaya compressor station at the Russia’s Black Sea coast, and would run to Bulgaria’s Varna. From there, the southwestern route would continue through Greece and the Ionian Sea to southern Italy. The northwestern route would run through Romania, Hungary, and Slovenia to northern Italy with a branch to Austria. The Russian Gazprom and the Italian ENI signed the memorandum of construction in June 2007. The first gas to Europe is expected to be launched in 2013.

Due to the common interest in the energy sphere South Stream is to assure the energy security in Europe, it is to strengthen partnership relations and mutual understanding between Russia and the European Union.

Greece cooperates with Russia not only in gas sphere, but in oil one as well. Russia supplies 40 % of all consumed oil in Greece. Greece is participating in the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline project as it corresponds to its national strategic interests.


The Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline is an oil pipeline that will be used to transport Russian and Caspian oil from the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Bergas to the Greek Aegean port of Alexandroupoli. The pipeline will be an alternative route for Russian oil bypassing the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. Its construction will begin in 2008, and is estimated to be completed by the beginning of 2011.

An inter-governmental agreement on the project was agreed in February 2007, and it was signed in May 2007 in Athens, by the involved ministers of the three countries, under the presence of their leaders.


Irina Fomina


Tags: Russian oil South stream    

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