Project participants: Postponing agreement with Turkmenistan to have no impact on dates of final investment decision on Nabucco
Azerbaijan, Baku, 5 May /Trend, A.Badalova/
Postponing the signing of a long-term agreement to supply Turkmen gas to Europe via the planned Nabucco pipeline will have no impact on the dates of the final investment decision on the project, the project participants said.
"Postponing the agreement between RWE and Turkmenistan has no impact on our project or our planning schedule," Christian Dolezal, Spokesperson of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH, wrote in an e-mail to Trend on May 5.
This week, the German RWE Energy Group said that signing an agreement on supply of Turkmen gas via Nabucco pipeline was postponed to the end of 2010. The 30 years contract for the annual supply of 10 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas was initially planned to be signed in April. That would be the first agreement on gas supplies within the Nabucco project.
Stefan Judisch, chief executive of RWE Supply & Trading, said that the company expects to sign an agreement with Turkmenistan by the end of 2010. He linked the reasons for postponing signing this agreement with the delay in the process of political negotiations.
"As soon as the political framework has been created, Turkmenistan will be ready to sign a supply contract," Judisch said.
According to Dolezal, the Nabucco consortium appreciates and attaches importance to the activities of RWE, which is one of the shareholders of the project, to facilitate its implementation. Last year, RWE signed an agreement to develop Block 23 in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea. Last month, the company stated that would spend $60-80 million to develop an offshore gas block in Turkmenistan over the next four years.
Michael Rosen, spokesperson of RWE Supply & Trading, express confident to reach such agreements within the next couple of months. "As a consequence, RWE is also talking intensively and constructively with Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan to agree upon results that would lead to gas supplies via the Nabucco pipeline," Rosen wrote to Trend in an e-mail.
According to him, recently, the government of Turkmenistan has again confirmed its willingness and commitment to make significant volumes of gas available for export westbound. The spokesperson of the company said that there is no reason to change the current timeline for a Final Investment Decision on the project Nabucco that is scheduled to take place by the end of this year.
In terms of implementing the Nabucco project, great importance has always been attached to signing an agreement on gas supplies from Turkmenistan. In particular, the EU linked the fate of the project with it - or will begin construction of the pipeline, or the project will be closed.
The importance of an agreement with Turkmenistan is associated with the fact that the country is regarded as one of the key suppliers of gas for the Nabucco project, especially in the later stage of its implementation. Turkmen gas has to be an important source of loading the capacity of the pipeline, the maximum capacity of which is 31 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Moreover, signing an agreement on deliveries of Turkmen gas would be a significant impetus for a final investment decision on the project, which is also scheduled for the end of 2010. Exactly the absence of any agreements on gas supplies, which would become a sort of guarantee for the completion of the pipeline, may be a deterrent factor for the creditors of the project.
Nabucco is worth 7.9 billion euro. Participants are Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE companies. Each of participants has equal share of 16.67 percent. Construction of the pipeline is planned for 2011 and first supplies for 2014. The pipeline's maximum capacity will hit 31 billion cubic meters per year. Nabucco Gas Pipeline International shareholders will invest 30 percent of the total cost, and the remaining 70 percent will be paid owing to loans. Azerbaijan, Iraq and Turkmenistan are considered as key gas suppliers for the project.
According to BP's data, the proven gas reserves of Turkmenistan as of the beginning of 2009 amounted to 7.94 trillion cubic meters, Azerbaijan - 1.2 trillion cubic meters, Iraq, 3.17 trillion cubic meters.