ENERGY: Nabucco out to gas up
13 July 2009
To connect Western Europe up to Central Asia so as to lower our dependence on Russian gas is the object of the future Nabucco gas pipeline, slated to be up and running in 2014. Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria, i.e. the five countries through which the 3,300 km pipeline is to run, signed a deal on 13 July in Ankara paving the way for the project to get started. “Assuming they come up with the money […], the biggest problem still remains to be resolved: the gas supply,” Turkish expert Necdet Pamir points out in Le Figaro.
“Azerbaijan dashed Nabucco promoters’ hopes by deciding in early July to grant priority access to Gazprom,” explains the French daily. In view of Europe’s irate reactions, however, the Azerbaijani State oil company has since confirmed that it will supply the quantities pledged. Turkmenistan, for its part, which is on bad terms with Moscow, has opted to join the European project. “Brussels hopes to clinch the same promise from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, though in the longer term it is ogling the gas reserves in Egypt, Iraq and Iran,” concludes Le Figaro.