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Shah Deniz group picks Nabucco West

June 28, 2012 at 8:58 AM

VIENNA, June 28 (UPI) -- The Nabucco pipeline consortium announced Thursday its Nabucco West project was chosen as the route for natural gas deliveries from Azerbaijan.

Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH in May submitted a proposal for Nabucco West, a scaled-down version of its broader $10 billion pipeline, to the BP-led consortium working in the Shah Deniz natural gas field in Azerbaijan. The project was up against the South East Europe Pipeline, envisioned by BP.

Nabucco, in a statement, confirmed that the BP consortium announced Thursday that it chose the scaled-down pipeline as its option to deliver natural gas through Europe.

Nabucco Managing Director Reinhard Mitschek described the decision as a milestone.

"Nabucco delivers freedom of choice to gas consumers and will contribute considerably to the security of supply in Europe," he said in a statement. "We look forward to a successful cooperation with the producers."

Nabucco West is described as a 48-inch, 807-mile pipeline through Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. It has an 813 billion cubic feet design capacity. The project will follow the original Nabucco concept, suggesting it could be expanded.

Baku and Ankara this week signed off on the 1,240-mile Trans-Anatolian Pipeline through Turkey that could eventually link up to Nabucco West.

The broader Nabucco pipeline was plagued by financial concerns and a lack of firm supplier commitments.

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