Azerbaijan, Baku, March 10 / Trend A.Badalova /
Head of the Italian company Eni Paolo Scaroni proposed to merge the South Stream project with the Nabucco project to reduce costs for these projects. Eni is an equal partner in South Stream with OAO Gazprom.
"Should all partners decide to merge the two pipelines for part of the route, we would reduce investments, operational costs and increase overall returns," Scaroni said yesterday at a Cambridge Energy Research Associates conference in Houston, Bloomberg reported.
Scaroni said merging at least a portion of the two projects would still allow Europe achieve its goal of diversifying supplies.
Europe may need to import an extra 180 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually by 2020, Scaroni said.
"Europe should promote spending on infrastructure to deliver natural gas to consumers from new sources of the fuel from Africa, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, Eni SpA Chief Executive Officer Scaroni said.
Europe mostly imports gas from Russia - 23 percent in 2008. Today, the Nabucco pipeline is a priority project to Europe, which will reduce its dependence on Russia's gas.
The project envisages the gas transportation from the Caspian region and the Middle East to EU. Nabucco gas pipeline project is worth €7.9 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.
South Stream worth 25 billion euros provides for the delivery of Russian gas to South and Central Europe across the Black Sea. The project's main participants are Russia's Gazprom and Italy's ENI. The pipeline is expected to launch in 2015. Its maximum capacity will be 63 billion cubic meters per year.