Raivo Vare, chief executive officer of Pakterminal, Estonia's largest terminal for oil deliveries, said that the current crisis involving Yukos should be good for Estonian oil transit operators and could result in an increase in the volume of trans-shipments from Russia.
According to Vare and other Estonian oil transit businessmen, the problems surrounding Yukos were likely to stop all major investments into Russian oil transit facilities for at least two years and thus force producers there to use alternative export routes.
"It will have an impact and will benefit us," said Vare.
As an example, he said that Russia's TNK oil company had been preparing to launch an oil pipeline project which would have taken away around half of crude which presently flows through Estonia.
"I think that these companies will review their investment plans, understand that it is not reasonable to take longer-term risks and stop the development projects for a few years," said Vare.
"Our success for the next few months will depend how much crude Russians will send to Latvia," he explained. He added that the Ventspils port in Latvia was seeing throughput grow rapidly thanks to increased rail capacity and that it had more capacity than Muuga.
"One thing is clear: the Yukos crisis will not blow over in months. It will be years before investors restore their confidence," Vare said. (BBN)