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U.S. sends envoy to Azeri gas conference

June 4, 2012 at 8:08 AM

BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan announced Washington was sending a Eurasian energy delegate to Baku to attend an international oil and gas exhibition.

Baku hosts a three-day international exhibition on regional oil and natural gas starting Tuesday. The State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan and the Azeri Ministry of Energy and Industry are this year's supporters.

The U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan told the regional Trend news service it was sending Daniel Stein, a senior adviser on Eurasian energy policy, to attend the opening ceremony.

Washington is a supporter of the so-called Southern Corridor of natural gas transit networks that would rely in part on reserves from the Azeri waters of the Caspian Sea. The project is meant to break the Russian grip on the regional natural gas sector.

A consortium working in the Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea, led by BP, is expected this month to choose between two natural gas projects for Europe; South East Europe Pipeline and Nabucco West, a scaled down version of the larger $10 billion pipeline meant for the Southern Corridor.

A BP official, in a speech in Berlin last month, was taken to have said so-called Nabucco classic is no longer an option.

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