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Monday, September 24, 2007

Poland ‘wins Azeri pipeline pledge’

Azerbaijanpoland21 September 2007 - Upstream Online - Polish Economy Minister Piotr Wozniak said today he had an initial declaration from Azeri officials that oil from Azerbaijan would flow to Poland via the Odessa-Brody-Plock pipeline. The Odessa-Brody-Plock project envisages reversing the flow of a Ukrainian pipeline that brings Russian crude to the Black Sea port of Odessa. It would instead bring Caspian oil through Ukraine to Poland and the Baltic Sea. "We have tentative declarations on the political level and on the level of the (new) company," Economy Minister Piotr Wozniak told reporters. He said that Azerbaijan, Georgia, Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania, would create a joint venture on 26 September to build the pipeline, Reuters reported. Poland and Ukraine rely almost entirely on Russia for their energy needs and want to get access to alternative sources. They have stepped up efforts to diversify away from their eastern neighbour ever since pricing disputes interrupted deliveries. The Odessa-Brody extension project has been plagued for years by lack of funding, supplies and political bickering between Russia and the EU over control of new oil routes.

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