Банкеръ Weekly



The project for oil pipeline from Bourgas to the Albanian port of Vlyora will have a detour to the Yugoslavian oil-refinery near the town of Panchevo (in the north-east of Belgrad). The surprising news was broken by Eduard Ferguson, president of the Balkan Pipeline Consortium AMBO after his meeting with the Minister of Regional Development and Public Utilities Evgeni Chachev on November 28. This, even if unexpected, yet logical decision was influenced by the recent changes in Yugoslavia, explained Mr. Ferguson. We have already assigned the American consultant company Brown Root to carry out a research of the detour.

During the meeting Mr. Ferguson also informed minister Chachev about the work done by the consortium for the last five months after it sent all technical and economic data about the project to the Cabinet in June. Then this information was brought to the attention of the authorities in Skopie and Tirana and also of the USA government which finances 2/3 of the researches through USTDA (the Trade and Development Agency).

The research about the oil pipeline was introduced to a number of firms which participate in oil drilling in the Caspian region: British Petrolium - Amoco, Ecson - Mobil, Texaco, Shevron, Unical and Conoco. According to Mr. Ferguson, at the moment these companies, as well as several smaller ones, are considering the pros and cons of the project and estimating its correspondence with their long-term plans for yield and transportation of petrol.

The AMBO project realization depends on both increasing the yields in the Caspian region and improving the opportunities for transportation of oil to the Black Sea east coasts.

The international market configuration has been especially favourable for the oil companies since March, 2000. The high crude oil price and the doubled price of its transportation against its levels as of the last year end guarantee quick return on investments.

The last research of the 916 km conduit for the pipeline from Bourgas to Vlyora estimated the costs for its construction at about USD1.130BN. Calculations' accuracy is in the range between +20% and - 10%, specified Mr. Ferguson.

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