Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.14 / Trend /
Iraq can enter the international gas consortium Nabucco much more rapidly than Turkmenistan, ITAR-TASS quoted U.S. Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy Richard Morningstar as saying.
He called Nabucco, which aims to provide Europe with gas bypassing Russia, "an important strategic project", assuring that the U.S. "unconditionally support it." Morningstar said that the U.S. companies are not included in the project, but they may be involved in supplying equipment it. However, he said "the main issue is who, besides Azerbaijan, will supply gas via the pipeline."
The U.S. envoy called the Turkmenistan and Iraq as the "possible options". However, he said "Turkmenistan is unlikely to enter the project in the near future, primarily for political reasons." With regard to Iraq, "Baghdad has expressed interest in the pipeline, and we expect that they will enter the project in the foreseeable future," Morningstar said.
The Nabucco pipeline is scheduled to commission in 2015. Its capacity should amount to 31 billion cubic meters of fuel a year in the long term. Eight billion cubic meters of this amount is expected to fall on Azerbaijan. According to experts, the same amount will fall on Iraq. However, it is necessary to resolve security issues. It is vital that the project member-companies would show the commercial initiative in the near future, according to Morningstar.