Nabucco West has more chances

Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH company has submitted the international consortium developing the Shah-Deniz offshore field on the Caspian Sea a package of proposals for the Azerbaijani gas deliveries to Europe. Matthew Bryza, Director of the International Centre of Defense Studies, former US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, spoke in support of the new route, reported Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta (NG).

The new version of the initial Nabucco project, which was renamed into the Nabucco-West, envisages construction of 1300-km-long pipeline, which will be laid from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to the Central Europe. “We are sure that Nabucco offers the lossless option both for the manufacturers and consumers of gas,” Reinhardt Mitcek, General Director Nabucco, told journalists.

The portfolio of the Shah-Deniz consortium already has two projects for the Azerbaijani gas deliveries to Europe bypassing Russia. BP-Azerbaijan company, operator of the Shah-Deniz field development, has recently released information that the consortium has already started assessment of two proposals submitted by Nabucco Gas Pipeline International and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). “The submitted documents will allow Shah-Deniz to finally evaluate each route and make a decision on the basis of the evaluation,” reads the statement.

A source from the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that the final decision is expected to be made in June 2013. As far as the proposals submitted by Nabucco and TAP are concerned, they include technical parameters, administrative control, financial and other aspects.

The same source said on condition of anonymity that while making a decision a special attention will be paid to the following criteria: commercial and financial aspects, possibilities of the project implementation, engineering works, efficiency and safety of the pipeline operation and the possibility to increase the pipeline carrying capacity of the pipeline.

The submitted proposals are expected to obtain a legal status at the end of April 2013. During May 2013 the Shah-Deniz consortium will receive the proposals on gas purchase from the potential European buyers.

Both Nabucco-West and TAP have intensified their works after a joint decision of Azerbaijan and Turkey to build the trans-Anadolu gas pipeline (TANAP) and in its budget for fiscal year 2013 Azerbaijan has already allocated 86.35 million AZN (over $100 million) to fund the construction.

However, the experts, in particular Matthew Bryza, believe that the Nabucco-West is more attractive for the Azerbaijani government. The Shah-Deniz shareholders will say their final word and they will, certainly, give preference to the commercially more attractive and profitable route, Bryza said in his interview to New Europe.

Asked about the competition between South Stream and Nabucco West, Bryza said: “I believe that the supporters of South Stream would like to jeopardize Nabucco and I think that they are worried about Nabucco more, than about any other project, because of many reasons. At first, Caspian gas will be delivered to the gas distribution centre in Baumgarten. Secondly, Nabucco will be used by the western Balkan and Central European countries, which are dependent on Russian Gasprom at present. Bryza said he is confident that despite competition the both pipelines South Stream and Nabucco West or TAP will be built.”

 

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