Austria hosted members of the Nabucco natural gas pipeline committee. The $10.4 billion project would stretch more than 2,000 miles from natural gas fields in Azerbaijan to European markets.
Energy ministers from transit countries expressed full political support for the project and for existing intergovernmental agreements during talks in Vienna.
Reinhard Mitschek, managing director of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH, welcomed support for a project described as the most advanced of the pipelines outlined in the Southern Corridor of gas transit networks, which are meant to break Russia's dominance over the regional gas sector.
So-called Nabucco Classic, the larger version of the pipeline envisioned for southern Europe, faced some level of revolt because of the economics involved and the lack of firm supplier agreements.
"We are reducing risks and maximizing a sound legal protection," said Mitschek. "We welcome this message of support and look forward to working with the state parties to ensure freedom of choice and energy security for the European consumer."
By next year, a BP-led group should decide between the shortened Nabucco West version and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline as the conduit for Azeri natural gas.
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