Although the Baltic States are not significant energy consumers or producers, they serve as a key transit location for Russian oil export. The Russian crude oil pipeline system is connected to the three ports of the Baltic Sea: Port of Ventspils in Latvia, Port of Butinge in Lithuania and Port of Primorsk in Russia.
Small oil fields are found also in the Baltic Sea near the Latvian-Lithuanian border. Russia has started offshore oil drilling in the waters of Kaliningrad region. Even though the oil amounts found in the Baltic Sea are relatively small, the possible environmental impact might be significant having in mind the sensitivity of the Baltic Sea ecosystem.
Oil extraction and export
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Butinge oil terminal in Lithuania (Photo: Giedrius Mačernis)
Butinge oil terminal consisting of a single point mooring buoy and a submarine pipeline from the shore lies 3.7 miles WNW of Sventoji Light on a depth of 20 metres (Photo: Giedrius Mačernis)