Today, Sergey Frank, Russia's Minister of Transportation, and Vagit Alekperov, the LUKoil oil company's President, signed an agreement for cooperation building an oil sea terminal on the island of Vysotsky in the Leningrad Region. According to the press service of the Ministry of Transportation, the agreement provides for assistance the ministry will extend to LUKoil while the terminal is being designed, built, and launched. The parties also agreed to cooperate creating a sea traffic management system, dredging the sea bed, protecting environment, and creating a system for containing possible oil spills at and around the terminal. The joint statement made by the signatories was to the effect that the agreement would promote investments in the Region's transport infrastructure on the part of those interested in Russia's oil exports via Baltic ports.
LUKoil North-West Nefteproduct, a subsidiary of LUKoil's, intends to launch the first phase of the terminal in 2003. At that time, the terminal is supposed to handle 2.5 million tonnes of petroleum products annually. By 2005, annual transshipping volume of the terminal is expected to reach 10 or even 12 million tonnes. Its construction began on June 28, 2002. According to varying estimates, investments in the first phase of the terminal will reach USD 150 to 200 million. The first phase completed, the terminal will handle fuel oil and diesel fuel. The second phase will add gasoline and lubricants to the list, and the third phase - ammonia and methanol. Petroleum products will be delivered to the terminal from the Ukta, Nizhny Novgorod, and Perm oil refineries owned by LUKoil.
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now