Nabucco good for Iraq, minister says

Dec. 27, 2011 at 7:11 AM   |   Comments

BAGHDAD, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- The planned Nabucco natural gas pipeline for European consumers is a project of great importance for Iraq, the country's foreign minister said.

Europe aims to break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector through a package of projects dubbed the Southern Corridor, which includes the Nabucco pipeline. Nabucco, however, has faced economic obstacles and hasn't received firm commitments from natural gas suppliers.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told the Trend news agency during the weekend that his country was keen on taking part in Nabucco.

"Iraq is able to propose its resources for this strategic project, which is of great importance for the country," he was quoted as saying.

Azerbaijan is weighing proposals for resources from its Shah Deniz 2 gas field from pipeline groups involved in the Southern Corridor. There's not enough natural gas available from Azerbaijan to fill Nabucco's planned yearly capacity, however.

Nabucco authorities said, however, they would look to feeder lines, notably from Iraq, to provide additional capacity to the planned pipeline.

Regarding disputes between the Kurdish and central governments in Iraq over natural resources, Zebari said both sides would "cooperate for the good of the population."

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