ECONOMY

Brussels says Nabucco gas route is not dead

The route planned by the Nabucco West pipeline project is not dead despite losing out in bidding to carry Azeri natural gas to Western Europe, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger wrote in a newspaper column on Friday.

“This is just the beginning. The decision to build TAP and later to deliver more gas also means that the supply path to Austria – Nabucco West at the moment – is still in the conversation,” he said.

Gas from Azerbaijan’s vast Shah Deniz 2 gas field and eventually other Azeri fields will flow to Europe.

Nabucco West proposed a route that would have collected the Azeri gas from a pipeline in Turkey and carried it to Austria via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.

TAP – the Trans Adriatic Pipeline – will also start in Turkey, but instead cross Greece and Albania before reaching southern Italy.

Both routes will be needed in the medium term to help secure gas supplies for Europe, Oettinger wrote in Austria’s WirtschaftsBlatt.

Azeri energy company Socar picked TAP over Nabucco West last week but it, too, said future gas supplies could be sent to Central Europe.

The decision by Socar and partners including BP and Statoil capped more than a decade of planning.

TAP plans to deliver 10 billion cubic metres of Azeri gas to Europe each year beginning in 2019.

[Reuters]