Nabucco official: “The first gas contracts are expected most likely with Azerbaijan”

Nabucco official: “The first gas contracts are expected most likely with Azerbaijan”
# 26 November 2010 09:02 (UTC +04:00)
Nabucco shareholders are negotiating intensively. The first gas contracts are expected in mid-2011, most likely with Azerbaijan," Nabucco spokesman Christian Dolezal told Reuters on the sidelines of an economic forum in Sofia.

He said all six shareholders of the EU-backed project were holding talks to secure gas for the pipeline, which will have a capacity of 31 billion cubic metres a year and is aimed at bringing Caspian region gas to Europe and reduce European reliance on Russian gas

On Nov. 10, Germany’s RWE said talks with Azerbaijan and progress in the Kurdish region of Iraq would bring it closer to obtaining enough supply for the gas link.

Other partners in the 7.9 billion euro ($10.5 billion) project include Austria’s OMV (OMVV.VI: Quote), Hungary’s MOL (MOLB.BU: Quote), Romania’s Transgaz (TGNM.BX: Quote), Bulgaria’s BEH and Turkey’s Botas.

RWE and OMV hope to secure 10 bcm from Azerbaijan to ensure the minimum requirements to start the pipeline, which faces the rivalry of Russia’s South Stream gas project.

Dolezal said he was confident that Nabucco was a competitive project that will make its first gas shipments in early 2015.

He said the capacity of the pipeline, planned to run from Turkey via eastern Europe to an Austrian hub, will be easily booked once supply agreements are in place, opening the way for a final investment decision by the end of 2011.

The Vienna-based consortium plans to secure about 8 bcm a year from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan and about 10 bcm from Iraq.

"The most important thing is there is enough gas available in the Caspian region. We are confident this will end up in gas supply contracts in 2011, because the time has come to conclude then" Dolezal said.