The Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline must have a privileged tax regime in Turkey to guarantee competitive tariffs, Nikolai Tokarev, head of Russia's oil pipeline monopoly Transneft, said on Monday.
"We expect Turkey, as the host country of the pipeline, to fully cooperate in the development of the project, according to international norms," Tokarev told Transneft's internal magazine.
"In particular, it is necessary to set up tax privileges to guarantee that the oil transportation tariff on the route is competitive to tariffs in the Black Sea straits," Tokarev said.
The Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which will carry oil from the Turkish port of Samsun on the Black Sea to a Mediterranean terminal in Ceyhan, is being constructed in a joint project between Transneft, Russia's top oil firm Rosneft, Sovcomflot shipping firm, Turkey's Calik group and Italy's Eni. It is hoped that the pipeline will ease tanker traffic in the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles straits.
In September, Tokarev complained that Turkey was offering Russia unfavorable terms for the project. Moscow presented Turkey with a draft agreement, offering oil supplies of 25 million tons per year, well below the initially agreed volume of 60-70 million tons.
"The Turkish side has given its preliminary consent to work with the Russian intergovernmental draft agreement and has taken some time to better consider our proposals," Tokarev said on Monday.