Transneft, Rosneft and Gazprom Neft have set up an equal share joint venture company which will hold a controlling 51% stake in the yet-to-be-built Burgas-Alexandropoulos pipeline.

The new pipeline is designed to export crude from Russia via Bulgaria and Greece. It will have a capacity of 700,000 b/d.

The Bulgarian and Greek states will own the remaining 49% of the project, which should have an agreed timetable for construction by the end of the year, Transneft president Semyon Vainshtok said.

According to Platts, Russian plans to ship its oil across the Black Sea to Burgas, and then build a 280km, 35 million mt/year pipeline to transport it to the Greek Aegean Sea port of Alexandroupolis.