No Nabucco without Iran, analyst says

March 5, 2012 at 8:29 AM

TEHRAN, March 5 (UPI) -- There's not enough natural gas to make the Nabucco pipeline feasible for European consumers without Iranian resources, a Turkish energy analyst said.

Europe is looking for ways to break the Russian grip on the natural gas sector by pursuing a series of pipelines for the so-called Southern Corridor. Nabucco is the most ambitious of those pipelines, though its $10 billion price tag and lack of firm supplier commitments has been a concern.

Serdar Iskender, identified by Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV as a Turkish energy analyst, said Western allies have deliberately tried to prevent Iran for taking part in the project.

"Without Iran, other suppliers in the region will not be able to provide enough natural gas to the pipeline," he was quoted as saying.

The Nabucco pipeline company last week announced it was ready to start land acquisition studies in more than 20 provinces in Turkey. Construction on the pipeline is scheduled for late 2013. First gas is expected by 2017.

In February, the consortium controlling Shah Deniz II natural gas field off the coast of Azerbaijan chose the Trans Adriatic pipeline, a Southern Corridor project, as a possible route to European natural gas consumers.

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