British energy minister to visit for Nabucco talks

Oil&Gas Materials 17 September 2007 22:45 (UTC +04:00)

( Todayszaman ) British Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks will make a visit to Turkey and the Caspian region in order to lobby for a gas pipeline that would supply Europe directly with gas and bypass Russia, the Government News Network (GNN) of the UK government announced on Sunday.

"Wicks will be holding discussions with the governments of Turkey, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan about the benefits of supplying energy directly to Europe," the network said. "I look forward to visiting Turkey and the Caspian region to discuss how the European Union and the UK can best facilitate the development of their energy resources. It is crucial for the world's future energy needs that we have transparency in energy reserves and clear, stable and predictable conditions for investment. UK oil and gas companies are already playing a leading role in the economic development of these three countries. Major infrastructure projects, like BP's $20 billion Baku-Tbilisi- Ceyhan (BTC) and South Caucasus (SCP) pipelines, are benefiting global and European energy security. They have boosted the Azeri, Georgian and Turkish economies. Azerbaijan has one of the fastest growing economies in the world," the minister was quoted as saying ahead of his visit.

Turkey aims at becoming "the fourth artery of the EU." A 4.6 billion euro gas pipeline project called Nabucco was launched to deliver gas from the Caspian Sea to Vienna's Baumgarten distribution station via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, intended to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian gas. In June, Russia's Gazprom announced it was building a natural gas pipeline with Italy's Eni under the Black Sea to Bulgaria, from where it would stretch to Italy, in a project that would compete directly with Nabucco .