Rosners report focuses on the medium-term projections regarding the development of Russia, Greece, and Bulgarias net oil export potential and in particular the western-oriented oil flows that are expected to transit through the Caspian and Black Sea over the next several decades.
Despite the pomp of the September 2006 meeting between the leaders of Russia, Greece and Bulgaria, the most important point in BAPLines (Burgas-Alexandroupolis Pipeline) latest resuscitation can be dated back to the April 2005 meeting in Sofia between the ministers of energy of the three states. The Sofia meeting also constituted a decisive turning point in Russias petroleum diplomacy vis-a-vis Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria, regarding the need to balance the construction of the first major pipeline carrying Caspian Oil to global markets in ways that by-passed not only the Turkish chokepoint, but more importantly Moscow itself. In the longer term, trumping Russias decision to underwrite BAPLine and the ramifications of such a decision on the comparative attractiveness of every other alternative by-pass, is the emergence of Kazakhstan as the dominant exporter of Caspian crude. The servicing of Kashagans output will demand by the mid-2010s a third Main Export Pipeline after the BTC and in all probability the BAPLine. This report will focus on the medium-term projections regarding the development of the regions net export potential and in particular the western-oriented oil flows that are expected to transit through the Caspian and Black Sea. Further, the report will provide a detailed risk assessment of the seven major export alternatives for both the second and the third Bosphorus by-pass. Finally, some general conclusions are drawn regarding the prospects of Russias foreign energy priorities in the Greater South-East Europe region, with a particular emphasis on its natural gas transit policies after the January 2006 Russian-Ukrainian debacle.