Amidst increasing inflation in the economies and higher chances of recession in European Union, Mediterranean countries Greece and Bulgaria began operations of a new pipeline which would help Europe reduce dependency on Russia for gas and oil. The new pipeline which is going to be managed by both nations are viewed as a very vital development in the energy crisis faced by Europe since the beginning of Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The interconnected pipeline which is more than 113 mile (ca. 182 kilometres) long reportedly began its operations over the weekend. In the beginning, the pipeline will be able to supply 1 billion cubic metres of Azeri gas to Bulgaria through the national gas system of Greece. Both the countries also have plans to increase the supply amount to 4 billion cubic metres and then 6 billion cubic metres.
Media reports suggest that both nations have investment more than 230 million dollars in order to construct and manage the pipeline. Extension works and works related to increasing supply will be extra.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the pipeline will be a game changer for the European Union as it will be key in reducing dependency on Russia for gas and oil. She also added that the new pipeline between Greece and Bulgaria would be vital for energy freedom of Europe and also for freedom. She was addressing crowd during the inauguration ceremony of the pipeline at Sofia.
Since the beginning of Russian war in Ukraine, European and American sanctions had forced Russia to take counteroffensive measures against Europe such as cutting of oil and gas supply. Before the war, Russia was one of the major oil and gas supplier for European countries. Decision taken by Russia to cut oil and gas supply to European Union seriously hampered economies in Europe and posed a very serious issue of energy security for the continent. With winter approaching in Europe, oil and has demand is going to go up and along with that the prices.
A second European pipeline, the Baltic Pipe, also commenced operation at the same time, carrying gas from Norway’s North Sea deposits through Denmark to Poland.