Nabucco Partners Interested in Russian Gas Transportation, but Not in Partnership with Gazprom

19. März 2007, 00:00

Nabucco gas pipeline, to be online from 2011, may pump Russian gas but will not have Russias gas monopoly Gazprom as...

Nabucco gas pipeline, to be online from 2011, may pump Russian gas but will not have Russias gas monopoly Gazprom as shareholder and financier of its construction, board member of Austrias OMV, Werner Auli, said in an interview with Bloomberg news agency last week.

The 3,300-km Nabucco pipeline project, intended to move gas from the Caspian Sea through Austria to countries from Southeastern Europe, currently has Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Turkey as shareholders.

Estimates see the cost for the projects completion at EUR 4.6 billion.

The announcement represents a turning point to the existing status quo as Nabucco partners regarded Russias Blue Stream pipeline as a rival development and, hence, put no Russian gas in future transportation plans.

In June last year, Blue Stream partners Italys ENI, Gazprom sealed a EUR 5 billion agreement with MOL of Hungary to develop a new arm, which would connect Russia with Turkey via the Black Sea. The project, named South European Gas Pipeline (SEGP), was to date believed to be a direct competitor to Nabucco as it planned moving gas through Southeast European states to Italy and, thereof, the remainder of Europe.

Auli emphasised that the two projects presented no immediate competitive threat to each other in view of the growing gas consumption in Europe. He added that MOL bet on participation in as many pipelines to ensure good and diversified revenue flows instead of favouritising one project to another.

As reported last week, parties to Nabucco project are on the lookout for new partners to finance the large-scale undertaking. Among partners courted at present is Gaz de France.

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