Romania on fence of gas pipelines

Aug. 17, 2012 at 6:14 AM

BUCHAREST, Romania, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Romania views the Nabucco gas pipeline a priority but hasn't taken a formal stance against the alternate South Stream project, the country's president said.

Romanian President Traian Basescu said Romania supported European energy policies and viewed the proposed Nabucco natural gas pipeline as a priority.

"But we will never be against the South Stream project," he told Voice of Russia. "And when we received an offer from Russia to make the first exploration tests in Romania's economic zone, our answer was positive."

Nabucco West, a scaled-down version of an original concept, is part of the Southern Corridor network of transit projects meant to break Russia's grip on the regional natural gas sector. The planned 807-mile pipeline through Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria has an 813 billion cubic feet design capacity.

South Stream is Russian energy company Gazprom's alternative to the project and would follow a similar route.

"We preserve our wish to remain Gazprom's partner," Basescu said.

Basescu survived an impeachment effort last month.

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