BRUSSELS, June 29 (UPI) -- A decision to back the Nabucco West natural gas pipeline for Europe is a success for the energy security of the region, the European energy commissioner said.
The BP-led consortium working in the Shah Deniz II natural gas project in the Azeri waters of the Caspian Sea chose Nabucco West as a potential project to transport natural gas to Europe. BP, in a statement, said it made its decision based on "the greater maturity" of the project. It beat out the South East Europe Pipeline, envisioned by BP.
European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said the selection of Nabucco West gives the European community confidence about the security of its future energy supplies.
"This is a success for Europe and for our security of supply," he said in a statement.
Russian energy company Gazprom in 2009 briefly cut gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine following disputes over contracts and debts. That decision in part sparked a move to break the Russian grip on the European energy sector as the bulk of Russian natural gas for Europe runs through Ukraine's gas transit system.
Nabucco West goes up against the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline. BP said it would make a final decision between the two projects by mid-2013.
"Whatever the final decision on the whole route from the Eastern part of Turkey to Europe, Azerbaijani gas is certain to come to Europe," said Oettinger.