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TransOil to expand its pipe
Russia counts on deliveries of raw to Iran via the Turkmen territory

The head of Transoil Semen Vainshtok promised the Russian oil officials that the export capacities of pipeline monopolies will be increased for 15 million tons or for 10%. The growth will be provided on three main new directions - integration of Drujba and Adria pipeline with the way to the Croatian port of Omishal, expansion of Primorsk (Lenoblast) port and reconstruction of the route from Omsk to Turkmenistan and to Iran. Oil officials are interested in new projects.

According to Transoil, oil export capacity of Transoil system to the foreign countries now makes about 130 million tons annually. The vice President of Transoil Sergey Grigoriev confirmed that in 2003 the pipeline monopoly hopes to increase its capacity for crude oil export for 15 million tons - more than 10%.

Along with the second turn of the Baltic Pipeline system (BPS), which will allow the company transfer via Primorsk additional 6 million tons of oil annually, two international routes with the capacity at least 5 million tons each would be increased. This is a pipeline system Drujba - Adria providing transit of the Russian oil to Omishal port to Croatia as well as Omsk-Tehran route via the territory of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. For implementation of this project part of the pipeline between Turkmenistan and Iran needs to be reconstructed. Experts of Petroleum Argus Mikhail Perfilov, thanks to Omsk-Tehran route the oil workers of Eastern Syberia could supply oil to Iran based on the scheme of replacement - supply plants on the North of the state with oil and to receive the same volumes of Iranian oil in the Persian gulf.

Transoil also plans to spend about 200 million USD of borrowed funds for the second round, while two other routes according to Grigoriev will be financed by Croatia and Kazakhstan each. Representatives of the Croatian government earlier announced about the readiness of Croatia to finance the project Drujba-Adria.

Meanwhile, the Russian oil workers have already provided investors with guarantees for all three directions. Yukos and Tyumen Oil Company will be responsible for launching the route via Croatia, while the way to the Persian Gulf and Primorsk are interesting for all major players.

Head of Press service of Lukoil Dmitriy Dolgov considers expansion of Primorsk's capacities as a natural one. According to him, the development of new export routes with participation of Transoil needs to be welcomed. "Now export is mostly limited by the pumping capacity of the pipe," Dolgov said. The same opinion is shared by the spokesman of Siboil Alexey Firsov. Oil exploration at Siboil increased over the past years for 30%. "Therefore, Siboil is vitally interested in expansion of export routes," Firsov said.

Oil consumption at the local market is growing for 2-3% annually, exploration - for 7-8%, therefore oil workers are searching for new consumer markets, while Transoil is trying to follow them, expanding export capacities, Vladislav Metnev, expert of Renaissance Capital says.

While having such ambitious projects, Transoil needs borrowed sums - including allocation of euro bonds and attraction of Western credits. Now the task has changed: Standart&Poors granted to the company a credit rating - B+ that is more than the most Russian oil companies have.

Vedomosti Daily

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By Ilia Khrennikov

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