Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 4 / Trend N.Bogdanova A.Badalova /
The Nabucco gas pipeline project is still very much a pipe dream in terms of cost, length and technology, Director of Analysis at the U.S STRATFOR Center Reva Bhalla said.
"Presently, I see Nabucco as a primarily political pipeline," Bhalla told Trend .
According to her, Russia has enormous clout over the Central Asian states that would supply the line. Moreover, Turkey will stand for Nabucco and sign a hollow memorandum of understanding when it feels the need to shore up support in the West.
"At the same time, Turkey can turn around and sign an energy agreement with Russia on Blue Stream-2," she said. The Blue Stream-2 project provides the construction of a new leg of the pipeline in parallel with the Blue Stream pipeline infrastructure on the territory of Turkey and beyond - an offshore gas pipeline in the direction of Israel.
OMV Chief Executive Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer said gas can be sourced by the end of next year if purely economic rather than political factors come into the equation. "Wrangling between potential customers for the Azerbaijani gas from Shah Deniz Stage 2 and internal squabbling in Iraq risk delaying firm supply commitments, Energy Intelligence Group reported with reference to Ruttenstorfer.
Without those, an open season tender process for potential customers -- a prerequisite for FID in 2010 -- cannot go ahead. If FID is delayed beyond 2010, then gas cannot start flowing through the pipe in 2014, Ruttenstorfer said.
Nabucco gas pipeline project is worth €8 billion. Participants of the project are Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE companies. Each of participants has equal share to the amount of 16.67 percent. Construction of gas pipeline is planned to be launched in 2011, the first supplies - in 2014. Maximal capacity of the pipeline will hit 31 billion cubic meters per year. Nabucco Gas Pipeline International shareholders will invest 30 percent of total cost of the project, the rest 70 percent will be paid owing to loans.
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