Comeback after two years Nabucco pipeline, once more on the European map?

As we began to get used to the idea that Nabucco will never get over the abandoned project phase, Austria’s OMV have other plans. Recently, information released by ‘Die Presse’ daily announced that Nabucco could be resumed in a new version. The good part is that this version includes our country as well.

The Nabucco gas pipeline project, abandoned in 2013, could be revived, according to an article published by the Austrian newspaper ‘Die Presse’ and disseminated by the international press. According to ‘Die Presse’, a ‘new Nabucco’ is being considered, a new pipeline that - instead of bringing gas from the Caspian region - will transport Russian natural gas through Turkey. The variant of supplying the gas pipeline from Iran is also considered. In the original project, the gas supplied via Nabucco was coming from Azerbaijan. However, this country withdrew from the project and the construction of the pipeline was stopped because there was no gas supplier anymore. Iran has already announced it wants to take Azerbaijan’s place to sell natural gas to Europe via Nabucco. Iran ranks second in the world after Russia, in terms of natural gas reserves.

The new project would supposedly be managed by the former general manager of the Nabucco consortium, Reinhard Mitschek. Late in 2014, Russia announced that it was abandoning the South Stream project which was envisaged to reach Vienna and aims to build the Turkish Stream which would stop at the Turkish-Greek border. From this point on the European Union should organize and build the new Nabucco pipeline.

The possible route of the gas interconnector would include Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to reach Austria. Thanks to the expertise acquired with the first Nabucco project, OMV has a competitive advantage, according to the international media. The project will be implemented in partnership with Gazprom.

Abandoned in favour of TAP

The Nabucco gas pipeline was originally an idea of the American administration and was later considered by the European Union as an option to reduce the Union’s dependence on Russian gas. This facility was designed to carry 32 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas per year, but also from other countries of Central Asia via Turkey and South-Eastern Europe to Austria.

The project company’s shareholders that would have handled Nabucco included OMV Austria, MOL of Hungary, through its pipeline network operator FGSZ, Turkey’s Botas, Romania’s Transgaz, Bulgaria’s BEH and RWE of Germany, each holding 16.7% of the shares.

The project was abandoned by mid-2013, following the decision of Shah Deniz consortium to select the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) gas pipeline project to transport natural gas from the Caspian region to Europe, via Greece and Italy.

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July/August 2015

June 2017