US Firmly Backing Nabucco Pipeline despite BP Criticism

Energy | May 26, 2012, Saturday // 13:52|  views

The Nabucco pipeline was supposed to span all the way to Iraq and Azerbaijan. Map from Nabucco Consortium

The support of the USA for the European gas transit pipeline Nabucco is unwavering regardless of British Petroleum declaring the project unviable.

This has been made clear by US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland at a daily press briefing in DC.

“We strongly support Nabucco. We think it’s a very important project. It’s going to bring energy diversification on both sides and market diversification. I hadn’t seen the BP announcement, but as you know, there’s been a lot of company interest as well in Nabucco,” Nuland told reporters.

The reaffirmation of US support for the project comes after Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said its last week its important for Nabucco to survive as a downsized project called Nabucco West, following an announcement last month by Viktor Orb?n, Hungary's prime minister, that Mol, the Hungarian oil and gas company, was pulling out of the Nabucco consortium.

Other companies in the Nabucco consortium, which include RWE of Germany and OMV of Austria, have already floated the idea of the slimmed down Nabucco West scheme.

Also last week, the Nabucco Consortium presented a revised, smaller version of the gas pipeline project called Nabucco West to the consortium developing the Shah Deniz II gas field in Azerbaijan.

Nabucco was supposed to become the new gas bridge from Asia to Europe and the flagship project in the Southern Gas and Energy Corridor.

The pipeline was planned to link the Eastern border of Turkey, to Baumgarten in Austria - one of the most important gas facilities in Central Europe - via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, thus circumventing Russia.

The original pipeline was 3,900 kilometers long and ran from the Eastern border of Turkey to Baumgarten in Austria.

The Nabucco project aimed at lessening Europe's energy dependence on Russian energy was supposed to achieve a gas transport capacity of 31 billion cubic metres (bcm) a year.

Nabucco's shareholders are Austria's OMV, Germany's RWE, Hungary's MOL, Turkey's Botas, Bulgaria's Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and Romania's Transgaz.

MOL and RWE have questioned the feasibility of the original version of Nabucco, threatening to leave the project company.

The Bulgarian Parliament ratified the international agreement for Nabucco on Wednesday, May 23, 2012.

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Tags: Nabucco Consortium, Nabucco, gas pipeline, energy diversification, Russia, Shah Deniz, gas field, natural gas, gas transit pipeline, turkey, azerbaijan, TANAP, Nabucco West, Taner Yildiz, USA, US, Department of State, US state department, Victoria Nuland


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