Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 3/ Trend , A. Gasimova/
The new U.S. administration must recognize the geopolitical importance of the Caucasus and Central Asia to diversify oil-and-gas sources and routes across the world, the U.S. Heritage Foundation's Senior Research Fellowin RussianandEurasianStudies and InternationalEnergy SecurityAriel Cohen said.
The Heritage Foundation hosted a conference in Washington on the South Caucasus and importance of energy corridors such as Nabucco and the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline.
"As the economic crisis will draw to an end and prices on oil and gas will begin to rise, the importance of the region will increase significantly," Cohen said at the U.S. Policy on the South Caucasus: Energy and Geopolitics Issues conference.
He said responsibility for expediting the Nabucco project depends on European countries.
"It is important to mention that the situation in Turkey is totally different today than it was when the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project was being implemented," Cohen said.
The Nabucco project worth 7.9 billion euro will deliver Azerbaijani and Central Asian gas to the EU.
Construction of the pipeline is expected to commence in 2010. Its maximum capacity will be 31 billion cubic meters per year.
Nabucco shareholders are the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE with 16.7 percent each.
The pipeline's construction will start in 2011. The pipeline will be launched in 2014.