Nabucco is not dead, Azeri deal close: Yıldız

Nabucco is not dead, Azeri deal close: Yıldız

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Nabucco is not dead, Azeri deal close: Yıldız

The Nabucco consortium accepts a shorter line and less volume. Turkey’s Energy Minister Yıldız says it is not appropriate to say that the Nabucco project is over. Hürriyet photo

Turkey’s energy and natural resources minister said yesterday that it would not be appropriate to say the Nabucco project is over.

Minister Yıldız said the project would probably survive as “Nabucco West,” a smaller, shorter pipeline, widely thought likely to begin at the Bulgarian-Turkish border rather than in Azerbaijan. This was the plan announced by Nabucco executives earlier this week.

“In the end, I believe whatever the name of the project is, the most important thing is that it is do-able,” Yıldız told an interview with the Financial Times.

Yıldız said it was more realistic to begin with the Azeri-Turkish route -- the Transanatolian Pipeline (Tanap) -- which could be linked up with another pipeline to bring gas to other European markets.

By the end of next month, Ankara will have concluded an agreement with Azerbaijan to set up a new pipeline to transport gas from the Caspian state’s giant Shah Deniz field, Yıldız said. “There is now no obstacle to the Shah Deniz project,” he added.

Meanwhile, the capacity of the Nabucco pipeline could be shrunk to match the lower supply, the consortium’s managing director told Reuters, after criticism that the ambitious project was too big to be filled with the Asian gas that Europe seeks as an alternative to Russian imports.

While confident a bigger pipeline project could still succeed, Nabucco Managing Director Reinhard Mitschek said a scaled down version could easily be built because many intergovernmental and other agreements were already in place.

“We are focused on both alternatives,” Mitschek said in an interview in his Vienna office.