Next step towards Pan-European Oil Pipeline
Commission gives its support to a pipeline which will limit oil pollution risks in Black and Mediterranean seas
Brussels, Belgium – Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs signed 2007-04-03 in Zagreb a ministerial declaration on next steps to build a pipeline which will bring oil directly from the Black Sea to the Central European markets and avoid further oil tanker traffic. The so called "Pan-European Oil Pipeline" would significantly reduce the chances of a serious accident in the Bosphurus Straits, the Black, Aegean and Adriatic Seas. "This project is a good example of enhanced co-operation among the members of the Energy Community", Commissioner Piebalgs said.
The Pan-European Oil Pipeline is aimed at linking the Black Sea port of Constanta (Romania) to the oil hub of Trieste in Italy. Unlike competing projects that avoid the Bosphorus straits, this pipeline links the Black Sea directly into the continental EU pipeline system. Pipelines from Trieste head north to Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. In that respect, it is of great strategic importance to the European Union.
The declaration was signed during a wide ranging energy forum in Croatia. This event held in Zagreb gathered stakeholders not only from the South-East European region but also from Russia, the Caspian region and Central Asia.
Today’s conference (2007-04-03) took place as part of the so-called South-East Europe Co-operation Process. This is a locally organised intergovernmental consultation format, mainly about regional issues. It involves Albania, FYROM, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Greece, and Moldova as an observer. Croatia takes the role of chairman for the year 2007.