Nabucco anticipating strong Azeri ties

July 23, 2012 at 9:04 AM

BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 23 (UPI) -- The Nabucco natural gas pipeline consortium is open to talks with Azeri executives for a possible stake in the project, a spokesman said.

Last month, 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.

Nabucco West is a smaller version of the original $10 billion Nabucco pipeline. By next year, the BP-led group should decide between Nabucco West and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline as the conduit for Azeri natural gas.

Both projects are part of the Southern Corridor, a network of pipelines meant to add diversity to the regional natural gas sector.

Nabucco spokesman Christian Dolezal, in an interview with the Azeri Press Agency, described his project as an "attractive" option for Europe, saying his group was "open for talks" for an eventual partnership with the State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijan Republic.

BP said it would make a final decision between the two projects by mid-2013.

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