Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan.14 / Trend V. Zhavoronkova /
Signing of a Joint Declaration on Southern Gas Corridor and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso's visit to Azerbaijan can be key moment for successful implementation of the Nabucco gas pipeline project,"
Stefan Meister, German expert on Central Asia, believes.
He said Barroso's visit to Azerbaijan is evidence of the fact that Europe provides significant support for the implementation of the Nabucco project.
"The European Union is currently committed to the idea of supporting this project at the highest level, and this can be key moment for the success of the Nabucco project," Meister, expert of the German Council on Foreign Policy wrote Trend in an e-mail.
A Joint Declaration on the South Gas Corridor, which was signed yesterday, has great importance and demonstrates the interests of all sides in its implementation, European Commission President
Jose Manuel Barroso told journalists today. Barroso is accompanied by Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso signed a Joint Declaration on Southern Gas Corridor on Thursday and other several documents.
Following the Baku visit, Barroso will pay a two-day visit to Ashgabat.
Meister said that the sides are in the final decision making phase for the
Nabucco project where Azerbaijan is the key partner and Turkmenistan will be the potential second important supplier in the future.
"Finaly the European Commission sends two top officials to Baku and Turkemistan to show the political backing for this project from the European side," Meister said.
According to the analyst, this declaration is an important political step for the implementation of the Nabucco project.
This indicates that both sides are ready to complete the preparation process of this project, he said.
The Southern Corridor is a priority EU energy project diversifying energy supply routes and sources and increasing EU energy security. The Southern Corridor includes: the Nabucco gas pipeline, Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), White Stream, and ITGI (Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline).
Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field with reserves of 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas is considered as one of the main gas sources for these projects.
"Nabucco" is worth 7.9 billion euro, with its construction scheduled to start in 2012 and the first supplies to be commissioned in 2015. The project's participants include the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE, each having an equal 16.67 percent share. The pipeline's maximum capacity will hit 31 billion cubic meters per year.