BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Talks with the consortium managing the Shah Deniz natural gas field in the Azeri waters of the Caspian Sea were "fruitful," a Nabucco spokesman said.
Christian Dolezal, spokesman for Nabucco Gas Pipeline International, is in Baku to attend a region oil and natural gas conference.
Europe is eager to secure natural gas reserves from Caspian suppliers in an effort to break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector. Nabucco West is part of a series of transit networks outlined in the Southern Corridor package of gas pipelines for Europe.
"We are in very fruitful negotiations with the Shah Deniz consortium, and we are positive that we can conclude a cooperation agreement with them by the end of this year," Dolezal told the region's Trend news service.
A consortium working in the Azeri waters of the Caspian Sea, led by BP, is expected by next year to make a final decision between the Nabucco West pipeline and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline as the conduit for Azeri natural gas.