AMBO pipeline

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AMBO pipeline
Country Bulgaria
Republic of Macedonia
General direction east-west
From Burgas
To Vlorë
General information
Type Oil
Operator Albanian Macedonian Bulgarian Oil Corporation
Technical information
Length 912 km (567 mi)
Maximum discharge 750,000 barrels per day (119,000 m3/d)

AMBO pipeline is a planned oil pipeline from the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas via the Republic of Macedonia to the Albanian Adriatic port of Vlorë.


The pipeline was proposed already in 1993. On 27 December 2004, prime-ministers of Albania, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria signed the latest political declaration, followed by the memorandum of understanding between representatives of Albania, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria and Ted Ferguson, the president and CEO of AMBO.[1] On 30 October 2006, Albania and the Republic of Macedonia signed a protocol to determinate the entrance points of the pipeline. The entrance point will be Stebleve village in Albania and Lakaica village in the Republic of Macedonia. A similar protocol between Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia was signed later in 2006.

On 31 January 2007, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Albania signed a trilateral convention on the construction of the Balkan pipeline AMBO. This document has been ratified by the Parliaments of all three countries and governs the construction, operation, and maintenance of the pipelines.[2]


The aim of the 912-kilometre (567 mi) long pipeline is to bypass the Turkish Straits in transportation of Russian and Caspian oil. The pipeline is expected to cost about US$1.5 billion and it will have a capacity of 750,000 barrels per day (119,000 m3/d).[3] There will be four pump stations, two in Bulgaria and one each in the Republic of Macedonia and Albania, constructed along the route. A pre-front-end engineering and design study (FEED) will be prepared by KBR.

Environmental studies to be conducted and construction licenses need to be obtained. The pipeline was expected to be operational by 2011; however, as of December 2011 construction has not started.[4]

Project company[edit]

The pipeline is planned to be built and operated by the US-registered Albanian Macedonian Bulgarian Oil Corporation (AMBO). The project is backed by the US government, who financed a feasibility study of pipeline.[5]

Alternative projects[edit]

Other pipeline projects (which do not compete with AMBO since they serve different markets) are the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline from Burgas to the Greek Aegean port Alexandroupoli, and the Pan-European Pipeline from Constanţa in Romania to Trieste in Italy. There is also the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Compared with Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline, the AMBO pipeline is longer and more expensive, but Vlorë (which is a sheltered, deep-water, all-weather port) could accommodate larger tankers and is more accessible than Alexandroupoli. Also, an oil spill in the Aegean would have a negative influence on Greece’s tourism industry.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Go-ahead for Balkan oil pipeline". BBC News. 2004-12-28. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  2. ^ Marina Stojanovska (2007-02-14). "AMBO pipeline deal clears another hurdle". Southeast European Times. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  3. ^ Barry Wood (2004-12-30). "Balkan Oil Pipeline Agreement Moves Project Closer to Reality". Voice of America. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  4. ^ Granitsas, Alkman (2007-04-26). "Official: Trans-Balkan Pipeline to Begin Ops by 2011". Downstream Today. Dow Jones Newswires. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  5. ^ "AMBO Pipeline Moves Forward: Interview with Gligor Tashkovich". 2005-01-09. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  6. ^ "AMBO Trans-Balkan Pipeline Agreement Finally Signed". 2004-12-29. Retrieved 2008-04-05.