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Nabucco Still Competes For Gas in Azerbaijan

Published: February 21, 2012; 18:56 · (Vindobona)

The gas pipeline project, in which the Austrian oil company OMV is engaged, now enters the critical phase.

Nabucco Still Competes For Gas in Azerbaijan / Picture: © Vindobona.org

For Nabucco, the critical period has begun. The consortium competes for getting access to the Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan. After one of the competitors has been excluded by the operator companies BP and Statoil, only four applicants are remaining.

According to information by BP, the TAP pipeline is seen as favorite in case of a rout via Turkey. Thus, the Italian-Greek-Turkish operator ITGI is excluded.

For BP, there are three remaining options: Besides TAP, Nabucco and SEEP are competing for the acceptance. The SEEP project would include the enlargement of existing regional pipelines.
The natural gas pipeline is based on the intention of the EU to become more independent from Russian natural gas. Moreover, the reduction in energy production, which is due to the German nuclear exit, should be offset.

For the EU, the concrete project is not important, Commissioner Oettinger said recently. The only important consideration would be the ensured energy provision.

The construction of Nabucco should begin in 2013, the first gas deliveries are planned for 2017. Construction costs of € 7.9bn are planned. However, experts consider that costs could rise to € 12.0bn. The Nabucco route would transfer natural gas from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iraq to Turkey, Romania, Hungary and Austria.

For Nabucco, there are still chances. The probability of success is unforeseeable yet. According to Nabucco, there are still talks with the government in Azerbaijan.

Besides OMV, the Romanian Transgaz, the Bulgarian Bulgargaz, the German RWE, the Hungarian MOL and the Turkish Botas are participating in Nabucco. Members of the TAP consortium are the Norwegian Statoil, Swiss EGL and German E.ON Ruhrgas.