Ariel Cohen: "South Stream" has more chances for implementation than other big gas pipelines
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 17 / Trend E. Tariverdiyeva /
The Russian gas pipeline project "South Stream" has more chances for implementation compared to the European project "Nabucco", Ariel Cohen, a leading expert of the Heritage Foundation for Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy, a member of the Trend Expert Council, said.
"The year 2010 was marked by the lack of progress on the Nabucco gas pipeline", Cohen told Trend over phone from Minsk, adding that in comparison to the European project, more documents on South Stream had been signed.
According to him, if any gas pipeline was built in the coming days, it most likely would be "South Stream".
Nabucco is worth 7.9 billion euro, with its construction planned to start in 2012 and the first supplies to be commissioned in 2015. The project's participants include the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE, each having an equal 16.67 percent share. The pipeline's maximum capacity will hit 31 billion cubic meters per year.
The South Stream project envisages creating a new route of gas supplies to Europe. Gazprom and Italian ENI are engaged in implementing the project in line with the 2007 agreement. The total length of the Black Sea gas pipeline will be approximately 900 kilometers and a maximum depth - more than 2,000 meters.
The European project, on the other hand, is expected to be commissioned by 2014 with the total investments in the project estimated at 25 billion euros. Its capacity must reach 63 billion cubic meters of gas a year.
Cohen said that most probably a system of small gas pipelines, to be stretched till the Balkans would be created and launched.
"Another interesting issue of energy security is related to a trial oil pumping via the Odessa-Brody pipeline to the South-North this year. It opens up great opportunities for Azerbaijani oil, especially if the pipeline is built to the port of Gdansk in Poland, " Cohen said.
The Odessa-Brody oil transportation project sought to diversify oil supplies to Ukrainian refineries and develop the country's transit potential. The pipeline's construction was completed in May 2002. Its trunk has a length of 674 kilometers, with a pipe diameter of 1,020 millimeters. The capacity of the pipeline and the terminal is 9-14 million tons per year during the first stage.
During the first two years after the pipeline's construction, Ukraine unsuccessfully tried to negotiate on the transportation of Caspian oil in the forward direction. Not receiving any concrete proposals from foreign companies, the Ukrainian government authorized the use of pipeline for transporting Russian oil in the reverse direction in late June 2004