Today, the Nabucco gas pipeline project is the priority project for Europe, which will diversify routes and sources of supply and thereby increase the energy security of European countries. The project aims to transport gas from the Caspian region and the Middle East to EU. Austrian OMV Gas & Power Head Werner Auli spoke about the most important priorities of Nabucco, in particular the role of the Caspian region in its implementation and other issues in his interview with Trend .
Trend : In your opinion what are the chances of Nabucco project's realization today? Taking into consideration a large number of projected alternative pipelines within the EU policy of diversification of supply sources and transport routes, do you think there will be enough gas for Nabucco project?
Auli: Nabucco is indeed an important project to diversify sources and routes for Turkey and Europe and will be realized! Europe will need more gas imports in the future because the domestic production will be constantly declining. To fill this gas and to enhance the liquidity of the market additional pipeline gas from new production fields and supply sources are necessary.
The Caspian region and the Middle East have the world´s largest gas reserves. So there is enough gas for Nabucco. The basic idea behind Nabucco is to add an additional corridor for gas imports into Turkey and Europe besides the three existing import routes from Russia, North Sea and North Africa. It combines the producing areas of Central Asia and Middle East with Turkey and Europe and provides the perfect inter-connectivity amongst South Eastern Europe. Every country along the pipeline has a national grid but there is an absolute lack of connection between these countries. With Nabucco, the national markets from Turkey to Germany can start to communicate which will create numerous business opportunities at a local level.
Q: How do you see the role of the Caspian region, in particular Azerbaijan in securing gas supplies for Nabucco project?
A: The Caspian region and especially Shaz Deniz II play an important role for the Nabucco Gas Pipeline. Nabucco will connect the region with the biggest gas reserves of the world with the huge and attractive European market, a stable and financial highly potential and secure region. So it is a win-win situation for both: for the gas producers in the region and the gas markets in Europe: Nabucco will open the possibility for the producing countries to get access to the European gas market, and Europe can diversify their supply portfolio by getting new gas from new sources via new transport routes.
Q: It was stated many times that the transportation of Iranian gas via Nabucco pipeline is not on the agenda because of adverse political situation around Iranian nuclear program. However is there any possibility of its joining the project on conditions that there will be necessary transport infrastructure in the country?
A: OMV has made no specific agreements with Iran or the National Iranian Oil Company, and is not operating in the country at present. But in the long term also Iranian gas will be interesting, also because Iran has the second largest gas reserves of the world.
Q: How real are the chances for construction of Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, which will allow EU to diversify the sources of gas supply at the expense of Turkmen gas?
A: We are evaluating the chances for realizing such a project, but we are just at the beginning of this process. So we really cannot give a concrete answer about that.
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