PRAGUE, February 12. /TASS/. This year the Czech Republic can stop being dependent on Russian oil supplies, which will be replaced by oil imports from Iraq, the news portal seznam.cz reported referring to the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Josef Sikela.
"The Czech Republic is coming to the point when it will be completely independent of Russian oil supplies, which will be replaced by imports from Iraq," the minister said as quoted by the portal.
Russian oil is processed at an oil refinery in the town of Litvinov in the north-west of the Czech Republic. At present they are completing tests to convert the refinery to use oil from Iraq. It will also be necessary to adjust national oil storage facilities for this type of energy reserves.
Oil from Iraq will be supplied to the republic via the TAL/IKL trans-Alpine pipeline. It will be pumped from Trieste. Crude is to be delivered to the port of this city in northern Italy by sea. Work is currently underway to increase the capacity of the TAL/IKL oil pipeline, which involves upgrading or replacing pumps and propulsion systems.
According to Sikela, the intensification of trade and economic cooperation with Iraq is complicated by the situation in Yemen. It has a negative impact on shipping in the Middle East region.