The European Union has spent 440 million euros in less than 10 years on gas pipelines that were either never completed or deemed unnecessary.
This is stated in the study of the international non-governmental organization Global Witness, reports by Euractiv.
According to the report, since 2013, a total of about 5 billion euros of EU taxpayer money has been spent on 41 gas projects, such as pipelines or terminals, known as “projects of common interest”.
Of these, about 440 million euros were spent on seven gas projects that either failed or were discontinued.
The majority of this amount — more than 430 million euros were spent on the BRUA pipeline, aimed at connecting Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Austria with gas reserves in the Black Sea.
The exploration of gas reserves in the Black Sea economic zone of Bulgaria and Romania has been a hot topic in the past, but now in Bulgaria, the work is completely stopped.
BRUA was intended to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and at the first stage planned to transport 1.75 billion cubic meters of gas estimated at 479 million euros.
The pipeline section was completed in November 2020, but it is entirely located in Romania and does not reach either the Black Sea or the country’s neighbors.
Now investors are concerned that BRUA will not transport gas from the Black Sea after Exxon, which led most of the project, announced its intention to sell its license.
Plans to extend the BRUA to Hungary were canceled in April last year, and it is unlikely that the pipeline will now transport gas from the Black Sea, which was not in line with the original plan.
The report also identifies six other similar projects:
— the third line of the gas pipeline between Portugal and Spain (canceled). EU subsidy 97,359 euros
— Gas pipeline connecting France and Spain (canceled). Grant EU 6 253 708 euros
— Poland-Czech Republic gas pipeline (postponed). The grant of the EU on 1 360 868 euros
— the pipeline Pinty-Lendava Kidricevo (not working from the receipt of EU funding in 2014). EU subsidy 344,500 euros
— Austria-Czech Republic gas pipeline (stopped). EU subsidy 41,993 euros
– — East ring gas project that links Slovakia with Bulgaria and Turkey via Romania and Hungary (postponed indefinitely). Grant EU 438 527 euros.