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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yanukovych Says Pipe Will Be Completed

Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych said he was working to build a pipeline to transport oil from the Caspian Sea area directly to the European Union, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing an interview.

Such a pipeline would bring an extra 12 million tons of oil per year to Europe from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia, the newspaper said.

Speaking during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Yanukovych said Russia agreed with plans to finish the pipeline, which now stops in western Ukraine, the Journal said.

He confirmed that Russia approved of the proposal to finish the pipeline, which would also be able to transport Russian oil shipped through the Black Sea. "We believe Russia will decide quite soon how big their interest will be, in terms of the amount of oil they put in the pipeline," Yanukovych said.

The Odessa-Brody was one of Ukraine's most ambitious projects but has been plagued by political bickering and a lack of money. Ukraine signed a contract in 2004 reversing the pipeline's flow for three years. Kiev had hoped to pump 9 million tons of Russian oil per year, but actual volumes have been lower.

"The fact is that there wasn't enough oil coming out of the Caspian basin to fill the Odessa pipeline then," he said.

In 2008, the surplus oil from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan will be sufficient to turn the finishing of the pipeline into a realistic commercial proposition, Yanukovych said.

(Bloomberg, MT)