Monday, November 21, 2005

Turkey, Russia plan to go for oil pipeline studies

Ankara, Nov 18 Turkey and Russia have decided to carry out separate feasibility studies on an oil pipeline from the Turkish Black Sea town of Samsun to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, Turkish Energy minister Hilmi Guler said on Friday.

The feasibility work was expected to be completed within several months, Guler told reporters. The comments came a day after the leaders of Russia, Turkey and Italy inaugurated a natural gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey under the Black Sea. The three leaders pledged at the time to boost oil and gas cooperation and bring Europe greater energy security.

At the ceremony Russia’s President Vladimir Putin raised the possibility of a second pipeline for oil or gas alongside the Blue Stream pipeline carrying Russian natural gas to Turkey. Italy’s Eni and Russia’s Gazprom built the Blue Stream pipeline. Turkey sees a pipeline carrying Russian crude from Samsun to Ceyhan as a way of relieving congestion in the Bosphorus strait, which run through the country’s largest city Istanbul. A Turkish official said the Russians seemed favourable to the pipeline, despite earlier fears they were hostile.



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