Prague signs a deal to end dependence on Russian oil

Czech state-owned oil company Miro said on Tuesday it had signed an agreement on increasing the capacity of the TAL pipeline across the Alps to allow the Czech Republic not to depend on Russian oil from 2025.

Under the agreement, Miro will finance work on TAL to the tune of $73 million.

TAL transports oil from the port of Trieste in northern Italy to southern Germany where the fuel is then directed to the Czech Republic and Austria via other pipelines.

From 2025, the Czech Republic will receive, via TAL, eight million tons of oil annually, twice as much as it receives today.

“This agreement is our future, and it will cut off Russia after 60 years and help us achieve independence, freedom and sovereignty in energy supplies,” Yaroslav, CEO of Miro, told reporters.

France Press agency

A member of the European Union with a population of 10.5 million, the Czech Republic is no longer dependent since this year on Russian gas, unlike other countries in Central Europe and the Balkans, which still have a contract with Gazprom, which has accepted its payment in rubles.

The two refineries in the Czech Republic received 7.4 million tons of oil last year, 56% of which came from Russia via the Druzhba pipeline.

The European Union imposed an embargo on most oil imports from Russia in May 2022, three months after Russia invaded Ukraine, but the Druzhba pipeline has been exempted.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Tuesday that the waiver gives Prague time to negotiate a TAL deal.

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He praised this agreement, describing it as “a major step and a cornerstone of our energy independence from Russia.”

Launched in 1967, TAL is owned by a consortium of eight oil companies, including Shell, ENI, and ExxonMobil.

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