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Austria and Slovakia cancel 20-year pipeline project for Russian oil

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Photo: Austria and Slovakia cancel 20-year pipeline project for Russian oil.  Source: transpetrol.sk
Photo: Austria and Slovakia cancel 20-year pipeline project for Russian oil. Source: transpetrol.sk

Austrian oil and gas concern OMV and Slovakian company Transpetrol have stopped work on the Schwechat-Batislava pipeline project to transport Russian oil directly from the Druzhba pipeline through Slovakia to the Schwechat refinery near Vienna, ORF reports.


"For almost 20 years, OMV and Slovakian company Transpetrol have been trying to connect the pipeline from Schwechat through Slovakia directly to the Russian network. Now the project is finally stopped," the statement said. 


The main reason is the energy transition.

Currently, all oil supplied to Austria is processed at the Schwechat refinery (Bruck an der Leitha), which is operated by OMV. 


The joint operating company Bratislava-Schwechat Pipeline GmbH was dissolved. By the end of last year, the project was finally stopped. According to OMV, the decision not to implement the pipeline was made in March 2022 in joint agreement with Transpetrol.


After more than 20 years of attempts to obtain all the necessary permits from the Slovak Republic, the investment in this project is considered futile. The delay in implementation was mainly caused by the energy transition, according to OMV. The energy sector is on the verge of transformation, making further transformation, making further construction of the pipeline unnecessary.


The political situation has also changed in 20 years. Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, which began in February 2022, has forced Austria to rethink its dependence on Russian gas and oil. OMV did not comment on this.

The Ministry of Climate Change noted that, according to their information, there is no longer a need for the pipeline, as Austria no longer imports oil from Russia since February 2023.


It also mentions uncertainties about the ownership of Transpetrol's Slovak shareholder. For a long time, the Russian company Yukos owned 49% of Transpetrol's shares. It was only in 2009 that Slovakia managed to buy out Yukos' shares in Transpetrol and return the company to trading.


The project has been contested in the past, not least because of the pipeline route in Slovakia. The pipeline was to pass directly through one of the country's largest drinking water reservoirs. Neither OMV nor Transpetrol could confirm whether environmental conditions were also the reason why the planned start of construction was delayed.

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