Hungary questions Nabucco pipeline viability

24 October 2011 17:52  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The viability of the Nabucco Asia-to-Europe natural gas pipeline is in serious doubt because of a lack of clear commitment from sellers and buyers of gas, Hungary’s minister for national development said on Monday.

The future of the project was also in question because its cost could conceivably nearly quadruple from the Nabucco Gas Pipeline International consortium’s current estimate of €7.9bn ($10.9bn), Tamas Fellegi stated.

“It is fully in the fog what the ultimate price of Nabucco will be,” the minister added.

The consortium believes there is no reason to question the viability of the project because there is strong interest from the governments of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan in using Nabucco to transport their gas resources, said Nabucco spokesman Christian Dolezal.

“[Securing gas] is just a process, which takes time,” he said.

The project cost is under review, but any suggested new figures are pure speculation at the moment, Dolezal added.

“As a project, Nabucco is on a strong footing. It is the most advanced [such project], in terms of development, having completed its feasibility study and its ESIA [environmental and social impact assessment], and the detailed engineering is almost complete, as well,” he said.

Nabucco also has the support of participating governments and international financial institutions, Dolezal added.

($1 = €0.72)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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