VIENNA, June 19 (UPI) -- Support from European countries planning to host the proposed Nabucco West natural gas pipeline is indicative of its viability, an executive said from Austria.
Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH said it secured national support for its proposed pipeline to carry natural gas from Azerbaijan to European consumers.
Nabucco West is part of the so-called Southern Gas Corridor, a network of pipelines meant to break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector.
Nabucco Chief Executive Officer Reinhard Mitschek said leaders from host countries Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania sent a letter to Azeri President Ilham Aliyev expressing their support for the pipeline.
"This statement of support from the presidents of the countries that Nabucco will transit demonstrates that Nabucco is the most strategic project to open the Southern Gas Corridor," he said in a statement.
Nabucco West is up against the Trans-Adriatic pipeline as the transit option for Azeri gas. Nabucco West is the more ambitious of the two in terms of length and capacity, though TAP construction involves crossing the Adriatic Sea.
The International Energy Agency said natural gas consumption in Europe rebounded in 2010, erasing the decline that coincided with the global economic crisis.
A pipeline decision from the BP-led consortium controlling Shah Deniz II, a natural gas field off Azerbaijan, is expected later this month.