Europe needs more than one pipeline

July 21, 2009 at 12:04 PM

BRUSSELS, July 21 (UPI) -- Europe may need more than one alternate gas transport option if it hopes to provide sweeping energy security across the region, Nord Stream executives say.

Matthias Warnig, the managing director of Nord Stream AG, said the European Union should examine all options to bring diversity to the energy sector, the Baltic Course reports.

"If we want to close future gas supply gaps in Europe, then we must increase investment in energy infrastructure development," he said. "Nord Stream will have a significant impact in meeting demand in a number of EU countries."

Europe has put transport diversity at the top of its agenda to expand markets that are currently dependent on Russian natural gas. Europe put its support behind the Nabucco pipeline from Caspian and Middle Eastern suppliers, while Moscow lobbies for its South Stream and Nord Stream alternatives.

Nord Stream would bring gas to Germany through a route through the Baltic Sea. Warnig spoke with European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs on progress made on Nord Stream, saying construction was slated for 2010.

Warnig added, however, that Nabucco was needed for energy diversity, while Piebalgs welcomed Nord Stream developments.

"These projects have the full support of the European Commission," said Piebalgs.

Nabucco reached a milestone with an intergovernmental agreement in Ankara last week, but it lacks financial backing and firm commitments from potential suppliers. Nord Stream, for its part, faces construction obstacles and the environmental scrutiny of littoral states.

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