Azerbaijan, Baku, July 13 / Trend A. Badalova /
The German energy concern RWE remains committed to the Nabucco pipeline project despite its intention to review Gazprom's proposal to participate in the Russian South Stream project.
RWE stressed that participation in Nabucco is the priority, as the project meets RWE investment criteria and fits in well with the group's portfolio in Europe, the Caspian region and Turkey.
A source in Gazprom told Reuters that the company's Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev discussed South Stream with RWE top management during a telephone conversation last week. The source said the RWE has shown an interest in joining the Russian project.
RWE has been asked by Gazprom to consider joining the consortium to build South Stream.
RWE is one of six shareholders in Nabucco, which is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region and the Middle East to EU countries. The company has a 16.67-percent share. Construction worth 7.9 billion euro is scheduled to launch in 2011. First deliveries are expected to be made in 2014.
Earlier CEO RWE Supply and Trading Stefan Judisch said that in the company's opinion, Nabucco is the only cost-effective initiative for diversifying energy sources in Europe.
RWE is currently conducting intensive and constructive talks with Azerbaijan, northern Iraq and Turkmenistan on gas deliveries to be conducted through the pipeline. RWE also expects to receive an invitation from Azerbaijan to enter concrete negotiations.
RWE previously signed an agreement with Turkmenistan to develop Block 23 in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea. In April, the company announced that it will spend $60-80 million over the next four years to develop the offshore gas block.
South Stream envisages gas supplies from Russia via the Black Sea to southern and Central Europe. The pipeline will be commissioned in 2015. Its maximum planned capacity is 63 billion cubic meters a year.