ECONOMY

Kazakhstan shows interest in helping build Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline

ASTANA (Reuters) – Kazakhstan said yesterday it might join a plan to build a $700 million trans-Balkan oil pipeline as it looks to diversify oil exports away from the crowded Black Sea Bosporus strait. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev told reporters Russia had invited Kazakh state oil firm Kazmunaigaz to join the project, which also involves Greece and Bulgaria. Kazakhstan plans to triple oil output to three million barrels per day by 2015 and is looking for new export routes. The trans-Balkan 256-km (159-mile) pipeline could help ease the Black Sea congestion as it would bypass the Bosporus and take up to 700,000 bpd of Russian oil from the west Black Sea Bulgarian port of Burgas to the northeastern Greek city of Alexandroupolis. The project has been on hold for more than eight years.