RWE Trading: Nabucco is available for SOCAR

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 6 / Trend E. Ismailov /

The consortium of the Nabucco pipeline is ready to receive the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) as one of the shareholders of the project, Jeremy Ellis, the head of business development, RWE Trading, said in an interview with EER.

"Certainly, it makes sense for SOCAR to get a share in Nabucco. [...]The door is always open for SOCAR ", he said.

Regarding the gas volumes that can serve as a base for Nabucco, he noted that about 10-16 billion cubic meters can be used for Europe within the second stage of the development of gas field Shah Deniz in Azerbaijan's sector of the Caspian Sea, about 10-20 billion cubic meters may be available for purchase from Turkmenistan at its western borders and about 10-20 billion cubic meters can be obtained from northern Iraq. That is, there is a base with more than 31 billion for "Nabucco". But about 31 billion cubic meters will not be required fully to launch operations within the project.

Therefore, if countries want to supply gas to the European market, they have the opportunity to do it through the Nabucco gas pipeline.

He said that more than 8 billion cubic meters of gas are required for the final investment decision on the project. It is much less than 31 billion cubic meters.

"At the moment, the talks with suppliers in three major cities - Baku, Ashgabat and Erbil are underway," he said.

He said that the talks with Azerbaijan are underway. There is progress on work with Iraq. The efforts are made for successful negotiations with Turkmenistan. All these producers may join Nabucco. If Azerbaijan and Iraq unite to supply Nabucco, Turkmenistan risks to miss the first phase of Nabucco, he said.

He said that of course, Brussels, Berlin and Washington have political will and support within the Nabucco project. The supplier countries must make their decisions.

"It is clear for us that Nabucco is the most economical way. From a technical standpoint, it is the safest transit route to ensure gas supplies to the European market", he said.

He said that Europe is one of the world's largest centers of the growing gas consumption. The Caspian Sea and the Middle East are regions with the largest gas reserves in the world. Turkey and southern Europe are the logical route to link the two markets through the Southern Corridor. After constructing a new pipeline, the conditions are created to diversify and ensure energy security of Europe.

Europe seeks to further diversify and enhance the reliability of supplies. It acts this way fairly, especially after the crisis, which were previously observed in gas supplies.

He noted that "Nabucco" is a multi-discipline project, in which Azerbaijan, Iraq and Turkmenistan are considered as suppliers. Azerbaijan at the initial stage is a key source of providing the South Corridor with gas.

"If gas is fully supplied for other projects within the second phase of Shah Deniz field, but not for Nabucco, then it will not be built. As a consequence, the diversification of supplies to the South-Eastern Europe and Europe as a whole will not be provided", he said.

He said that Nabucco can not be implemented through the gas pipelines IGI or TAP. But TAP or IGI can be implemented through Nabucco. "It will be safe for everyone. I mean for IGI and TAP. There is no point in creating both routes. Any of these two projects can transport its gas through Nabucco. We have offered this to Edison and DEPA", he said.

Nabucco gas pipeline project is worth €7.9 billion. Construction of gas pipeline is planned to be launched in 2012, the first supplies - in 2015. Maximal capacity of the pipeline will hit 31 billion cubic meters per year.

Construction of the Nabucco pipeline will be implemented in two main phases. The first phase of construction (2011) includes laying a new pipeline length of 2,000 kilometers, starting at the Turkish border and ending in Austria's Baumgarten. The second phase (2014-2015 year) includes the construction of the remainder of the pipeline on the border between Turkey and Georgia, as well as Turkey and Iraq.

Construction of the first section of Nabucco length of 2.730 kilometers will begin in the southern part of Ankara (Turkey) and will continue in the western direction to the Bulgarian border through Central Anatolia and the Marmara Sea. 75 percent of the route will pass through existing pipelines.

Nabucco participants are the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE. Each has an equal 16.67-percent share. 

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