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Transneft, Bulgaria agree on Baikal oil pipeline


MOSCOW, March 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's state pipeline operator Transneft has reached an agreement with the Bulgarian authorities on the proposed route of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

A Transneft delegation, led by Nikolai Tokarev, the head of Russia's oil pipeline monopoly, visited Bulgaria to discuss alternative pipeline routes. The delegation visited the country's parliament and met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev, Regional Development Minister Arsen Gagaouzov.

"Representatives from the Russian delegation came to a mutual understanding with everyone they met," said Alexander Tarakanov, the director general of Trans-Balkan Pipeline B.V., the company responsible for the pipeline construction.

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).

Under an inter-governmental agreement signed in 2007, Russia holds 51% in the project company, while Greece and Bulgaria hold 24.5% each.

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