Brussels, 28 June 2012
Commissioner Oettinger welcomes decision on "Nabucco West" pipeline
Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger welcomes today's decision of the Shah Deniz Consortium (Azerbaijan) for the "Nabucco West" pipeline.
"With this pre-selection, we are a step closer to getting gas directly from Azerbaijan and other countries in the Caspian region. Whatever the final decision on the whole route from the Eastern part of Turkey to Europe, Azerbaijani gas is certain to come to Europe."
"This is a success for Europe and for our security of supply".
Today, in Baku, the Shah Deniz Consortium announced that "Nabucco West" is to become a preferred partner for the distribution of gas within Central Europe. Rather than opting for a one-step-approach, the Consortium had decided to go ahead on the basis of a regional pre-selection. These regions are: Central Europe, Southern Europe and Turkey. Nabucco West, aiming to bring gas from the Western Turkish border to Baumgarten (Vienna, Austria), has been pre-selected to deliver gas to the region of Central Europe. With this decision, the offer of the competitor South East Europe Pipeline (SEEP, owned by BP) has been turned down.
The decisions for "Nabucco West" and yesterday's Inter Governmental agreement on the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP, pipeline through Turkey) assure that the pipelines, in any eventual configuration, will deliver to Europe.
Only next year, the Consortium will decide on the pipeline going through Turkey. Therefore, the final decision on the whole route and the pipelines chosen will be known only in June 2013. Whatever the final decision taken – one or more pipelines - there will be an unbroken system of pipelines that will be built from the Caspian Sea to Europe.
The Shah Deniz Gas field is the largest natural gas field in Azerbaijan. The production from Shah Deniz II (second phase of exploration, starting in a few years), will produce 16 bcm/year. In January 2011, Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Commissioner Oettinger visited Baku and, with President Ilham Aliev, agreed that Azerbaijan will be "the substantial contributor" and "enabler" to Europe's future gas deliveries from the Caspian region.
The European Union took the lead in developing the Southern Gas Corridor and developed the concepts that have led to the decisions of this week. Notably, the Nabucco Intergovernmental Agreement signed in Ankara in 2009, at which President Barroso was present, showed that it was possible to find agreement amongst many countries on the transit of gas.
The European Union will continue to work with all partners concerned so as to bring further gas into the system, notably from Turkmenistan, through the construction of a Trans-Caspian Pipeline.