A recently established work group comprised of officials from Greece and Bulgaria’s relevant energy ministries met in Athens on Friday to discuss the prospect of reviving the decades-old Alexandroupolis-Burgas oil pipeline project, with the projected flow, however, now going from the former to the latter.

The meeting was attended by each country’s energy minister, Kostas Skrekas and Rossen Hristov, respectively. Both sides agreed that such a pipeline is of major bilateral geostrategic.

The pipeline project, retrieved from the shelf after nearly a decade and a half, aims to boost Bulgaria’s independence from Russian oil, while adding a crude oil terminal and pipeline to what’s emerging as an energy hub in extreme northeast port city of Alexandroupolis.

Establishing the work group was foreseen in a MoU signed between the two energy ministers last month in Athens, in the presence of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the visiting President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev.

The project was first conceived in 1993 to transport Russian crude by tankers to the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas and then on to Alexandroupolis, on the northern Aegean, via an overland pipeline. The high-profile but oft-delayed project was finally abandoned in 2011.

The idea, then and now, is to bypassed the narrow and busy Dardanelles and Bosporus straits.

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