Czech oil pipeline operator Mero has confirmed to Czech Position that it is in negotiations with French oil major Total about the construction of a new pipeline route connecting the Litvínov refinery in North Bohemia with the Leuna refinery in eastern Germany. The pipeline would open new supply routes for both refineries.
Some see the Prague Spring as cynical move by the USSR to gain territorial control over future natural gas export routes to the capitalist West. After the occupation, pipelines laid out in Poland were transferred to Czechoslovakia, and the puppet ČSSR government adopted top secret resolutions to construct transit pipelines.
As Belarus seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian oil by striking a deal with Ukraine to ship Venezuelan crude from the Black Sea, the Czech pipeline operator Mero has boosted its ‘emergency’ import capacity from the West via the TAL pipeline. In a bid to increase energy security, Mero’s long-term goal is to become a TAL shareholder – but the pipeline’s current owners are reluctant to sell.