Russian oil company Zarubezhneft, which owns a majority stake in Bosnian Brod oil refinery through its subsidiary NeftegazInKor, is interested in the construction of low-pressure gas pipeline between Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Croatia, that will supply gas to its refinery.
The company said that it has already established a commission, consisting of officials from Croatia and both BiH entities – the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and the Republic of Srpska (RS), with the aim to implement the project, adding that the final decision on the construction is subject to the competence of the representatives of these three states/entities. However, Zarubezhneft declined to comment media reports that it has already started talks on the construction of low-pressure gas pipeline with the Croatian subsidiary of Slovenian company Geoplin.
Earlier this week, Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivo Stier said after the meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow that Russia will provide support regarding the issue of gasification of Bosanski Brod oil refinery, which will significantly reduce air pollution in the area.
Last week, Bosnian gas company BH-Gas said that the proposed construction of a low-pressure gas pipeline between BiH and Croatia, for the sole purpose of supply of Bosanski Brod oil refinery, is unacceptable, since it would be an unique international example two countries are connected via low-pressure gas pipeline. The company reminded that BiH has proposed the project for the construction of Brod-Zenica gas pipeline through which gas networks of both countries would be linked, also enabling the supply of Brod refinery and the supply of consumers in RS and FBiH. This pipeline has also been included in the plans for the development of gas interconnections within the framework of South European Gas Ring project.
BH-Gas stated that none of the studies, development plans, nor any initiative of the Energy Community or Bosnia and Herzegovina did not endorse the construction of low-pressure gas pipeline between the two countries. The company emphasizes that this would result in BiH permanently losing its second point of entry for natural gas and would become the first country in the world that is connected to its neighbor via such pipeline.
Oil refinery in Bosanski Brod, as well as the refinery in Modrica and Nestro Petrol in Banja Luka are part of Optima Group, majority owned by NeftegazInKor, a subsidiary of the Russian company Zarubezhneft.