LONDON, June 21 (UPI) -- New natural gas pipelines like the proposed Nabucco project should be built to diversify the European gas supply, a European official writes.
Europe is trying to break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector through a series of transit networks in the so-called Southern Corridor, which includes the Nabucco natural gas pipeline.
The Nabucco project consortium in Vienna aims to get some gas to fill the pipeline with non-Russian natural gas suppliers such as Azerbaijan. In May, however, it was announced that construction was delayed by one year to 2013 and gas deliveries weren't expected until 2017 because of supplier timelines.
European Commission for Energy Gunther Oettinger writes in The Parliament, a British news magazine, that adequate infrastructure is essential to energy security in the region.
He said European leaders need to coordinate efforts on integrating the energy market and work toward new power capacities.
"We also need to build new import pipelines, such as Nabucco, to diversify and strengthen our gas supply," he writes. "The EU has a vital role to play to ensure that these investments take place and create the needed leverage to make the investments more attractive."
New price figures and gas contracts tied to Nabucco are expected this year.