Russia will expand the capacity of its oil pipelines by ten percent next year as the world's second largest oil producer fights to take market share away from Middle Eastern rivals, state run pipeline monopoly Transneft has said.
Russia, which extracts and exports more crude than any country except Saudi Arabia, can export no more than two fifths of its oil output. The country is ending curbs on oil exports, pledged to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in the first half of the year to help prop up oil prices.
Transneft plans to build reservoirs on the Black Sea so it will not have to stop pumping when storms stall tanker loading, Transneft President Semyon Vainshtok said. It is also expanding its Baltic pipelines and is talking with Hungary and Croatia about shipping more Russian crude through the Balkans.
“We can haul more oil now,” Vainshtok said. “Further expansion of exports will also be possible.”