Archive for November 25th, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Turkey and Greece look East

India and Turkey are discussing the use of the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (TPC) pipeline as a shortcut for Russian oil supplies to India, reports Today’s Zaman. The oil from Russia is currently shipped across the Black Sea and the Turkish Straits – the latter are bottlenecks because the limit on cargo allowed to pass through the Turkish Straits is set at 130,000 tons, while ships carrying 400,000 tons of cargo can use the Port of Ceyhan in southern Turkey, according to Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Güler.

A number of common projects were discussed with Indian authorities, prime minister Tayyip Erdoğan said during his official visit to India, singling out new oil transport projects as an opportunity to bring the two nations closer together. Energy minister Güler announced meetings with his Israeli and Indian counterparts in the coming days to discuss the Ceyhan-Red Sea oil project. It would lead from Ceyhan in Southern Turkey through Ashkelon in Israel’s Southern District to Eilat on its Red Sea coast.

This will help India to avoid oil transports through Iran and Pakistan, says Der Spiegel. From the Red Sea to India, the oil will have to be shipped.

The BTC Pipeline was inaugurated in 2006, and it is the only pipeline that transports oil from the Caspian Sea to the Western countries without running through Russian territory, according to Der Spiegel.

Also in the region, China’s chairman Hu Jintao who is on a three day visit of Greece, joined COSCO CEO Wei Jiafu today for the signing of a 4.35-billion-euro (5.5 billion-dollar) deal for the 35-year concession of terminals 2 and 3 at Piraeus, Greece’s busiest port, reports Seatrade Asia Online. The terminals had so far been run by the state, and dock workers’ unions opposed the Piraeus privatization plan, according to ABC News.

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