ANKARA, Turkey, April 23 (UPI) -- It doesn't make economic sense to build an oil pipeline that would bypass the Bosporus and Dardanelles in Turkey, the Russian energy minister said.
The Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline was planned to carry as much as 1.5 million barrels of oil per day. The overland route of the pipeline would diminish environmental effects and risks associated with tanker traffic in the Bosporus and Dardanelles.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman that it would be cheaper by as much as 40 percent to send oil through the straits, however.
"It depends on whether this project will be competitive enough to survive," he was quoted as saying. "However, it does not seem so at the time being."
The pipeline consortium included Turkish energy company Calik, Russian energy companies Rosneft and Transneft and Eni.
Turkey this year blacklisted Italian energy company Eni for working on energy issues with the government in Cypress, a country Turkey doesn't recognize.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the United Nations last year that any company dealing with Cyprus would be banned from the Turkish market.