ANKARA, Turkey, May 16 (UPI) -- Ankara assumes that Nabucco West would be an extension of a natural gas pipeline already planned for the country, an official said.
Project companies backing Nabucco West, a scaled-down version of the larger $10 billion pipeline, and the South East Europe Pipeline are expected to turn in their proposals Wednesday to the BP-led consortium managing the Shah Deniz natural gas field in Azerbaijan.
Levent Ozgul, director of business strategy for Turkish pipeline company BOTAS, told Bloomberg News Ankara is strongly in favor of Nabucco West.
"Turkey assumes that Nabucco West will be the natural continuation of TANAP (Trans-Anatolian Pipeline)," he said.
Turkish officials threw their support behind the planned 1,240-mile TANAP through the country last year. Nabucco West would start at the Bulgarian border with Turkey.
The project is part of an effort to break the Russian grip on the regional natural gas sector. The broader Nabucco pipeline has been plagued by shareholder concerns over the financial aspects and uncertainty regarding natural gas supplies.
Nabucco officials had told United Press International they were "convinced" their project would be backed by the Shah Deniz group.
BOTAS is a member of the Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH consortium.