Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 24 /Trend A.Badalova/
The European Commission is confident of opening of the Southern Gas Corridor, but it is primarily up to the Shah Deniz Consortium to decide to whom they want to sell their gas, Reuters reported with reference to the Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger.
"I am sure there will be interesting volumes of gas from the Caspian region to Europe," Oettinger told in an interview.
The partners of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field development project should make a decision regarding preferable transportation route soon. All three pipelines within the Southern Gas Corridor (Nabucco, TAP and ITGI), designed to transport Azerbaijani gas to the European countries, have already submitted their final proposals to Azerbaijan.
Nabucco gas pipeline has been always regarded as the EU's priority project, which will enable to diversify energy supply routes and sources, and increase energy security of the European countries. Oettinger said that he believes in the route that the EU hopes can transport non-Russian gas to the southern Europe. However, he added that since the inception of the Nabucco project, much has changed in the global gas market, including the commercial viability of unconventional gas from shale.
"Investment in infrastructure is not as bankable as it was five years ago," Oettinger said.
The Commission has already said it was receptive to talks on combining pipelines competing to bring gas from Shah Deniz.
Nabucco gas pipeline project is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region and Middle East to the European countries.
The project is planned to start construction in 2013 and the first supplies will be commissioned in 2017. The total length of the pipeline is 3900 kilometres with a maximum capacity of 31 billion cubic metres per year. The project's partners include the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and the German RWE.
The Shah Deniz consortium will review proposals submitted in accordance with previously announced criteria, including commercial attractiveness, ability for project realization from the technical and financial point of view, engineering and design work, management, coordination and transparency, the possibility of a phased scale-up and other criteria.
The Azerbaijani side intends to supply 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Europe under the second stage of Shah Deniz field development through the chosen pipeline.