No Azerbaijani Nabucco pipeline decision until mid-2013 - OMV

22 February 2012 17:53  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--A final decision on whether the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline project will be selected to carry Azerbaijani gas to Europe is not expected until the middle of 2013, pipeline joint venture partner OMV said on Wednesday.

Gas market participants were previously told by the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) to expect the matter to be decided by March of this year, but Austria’s OMV said it was now working to the 2013 deadline in terms of a final investment decision.

The 4,000km, €7.9bn ($10.5bn) Nabucco project would transport gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II project through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to the Baumgarten gas hub in Austria.

However, it was possible that Nabucco could be shortened in length because Azerbaijan seems set to push ahead with its own project to build a pipeline running from Shah Deniz II to the Turkey/EU border, OMV added.

SOCAR announced earlier this week that it had decided that an alternative approach to exporting gas from Shah Deniz II would be to send it through the proposed Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which would run to Italy.

The winning pipeline project would thus be either Nabucco, TAP or a third proposed project, SEEP (South East Europe Pipeline), a venture of Shah Deniz II operator BP, which would run from Turkey to the Romanian-Hungarian border, SOCAR said.

Approximately 16bn cubic metres/year (cbm/year) of gas should be sourced from the Shah Deniz II field by the winning bidder, according to SOCAR.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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