Nabucco withdraws plan for link to Iran
The Nabucco natural gas pipeline project will will no longer link to Iran, the consortium for the multi-billion Euro European/Asian network said this week.
In a statement it said: "The shareholders agreed on a modification of the feeder line concept. Two feeder lines were confirmed and the respective engineering works were ordered but due to the current political situation, Nabucco Gas Pipeline International is not planning a third one to the Turkish-Iranian border so far.
There will be a feeder line to the Turkish-Georgian and to the Turkish-Iraqi border. The planned route offers a wide range of supply sources for the Nabucco gas pipeline, which will receive gas from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iraq."
According to setimes.com, peparations for the pipeline, designed to transport natural gas from the Caspian region and the Middle East to Europe, started in 2002. After long delays, the project took a major step forward in July of last year, when the five participating states -- Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Turkey -- signed an intergovernmental agreement in Ankara.
The consortium to build and run the Nabucco pipeline includes six companies -- Austria's OMV, Bulgaria's Bulgargaz, Hungary's MOL, Romania's Transgaz, Turkey's Botas and Germany's RWE, with each holding an equal share of 16.67%. Investment in the EU-backed project, aimed at reducing Europe's dependence on Russian gas, totals 7.9 billion euros.
Construction of the "new gas bridge from Asia to Europe", as the group describes it, is scheduled to begin in late 2011. The first gas is expected to flow by the end of 2014. The 3,300km pipeline, which will run from eastern Turkey to the Baumgarten gas hub in Austria via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, will carry 31 billion cubic metres of gas annually. However, the maximum capacity is not expected until 2018.
Finding reliable suppliers has been one of the biggest obstacles.
Here is a fantastic map of Europe's gas pipeline network showing how Nabucco fits in.
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