"Settlement of Political Issues to Enable Export of Iranian Gas to Europe" – Nabucco Head
Azerbaijan, Baku, 24 June / Trend corr A.Badalova/ "As soon as the political situation will allow that, gas exports from Iran to Europe will take place," Reinhard Mitschek, Managing Director of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International, said to Hungary's BBJ newsaper.
"So we expect gas from Azerbaijan, from Turkmenistan, from Kazakhstan, from Iran, from Iraq, from Egypt, from Russia. And therefore we are not fully dependent on one of these sources because we expect a whole portfolio of gas-supply sources. That's very attractive for the gas buyers in Europe," Mitschek said.
This month US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Bryza said Washington would oppose construction of Nabucco in case it is to transport Iran's gas to Europe.
Mitschek says if European companies do sign deals, Nabucco will be ready to ship the gas to Europe.
"We know that Iran would like to improve and increase transport capacity and it will offer natural gas for export to Europe to interested buyers. We have several statements also from the European Commission, Commissioner [Andris] Piebalgs and others, that Iranian gas in the long term is an issue for Europe," he said.
According to Mitschek, gas supply to Europe must be doubled in near future. He says the consumption of gas among the European Union's 27 countries was 500 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2007, of which 300 bcm was imported and 200 bcm was produced in Europe.
"In the next 10 to 15 years, the overall gas consumption will increase from 500 [bcm] to 700 [bcm]. At the same time, the European production will go down from 200 [bcm] to 100 bcm. There is a huge necessity to diversify gas suppliers, including Iran," Mitschek says.
"I would say that gas from Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan is as important as the gas from Azerbaijan or the Middle East and other regions. Nabucco is hoping that an agreement can be made for a trans-Caspian pipeline to run along the bottom of the sea from Turkmenistan to Kazakhstan," he said.
" Azerbaijan will supply gas to Europe, but that will not fill Nabucco and other pipelines," said Mitschek.
Nabucco costing $12.4bln is expected to supply gas from Azerbaijan and Central Asia to EU countries since 2013. OMV, MOL ( Hungary), Botas ( Turkey), Bulgargaz ( Bulgaria), Transgaz ( Romania) and German RWE are the shareholders of the project, each owing16.67%.
The correspondent can be contacted at [email protected]