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Nabucco West sees growing interest

Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:10 AM

SOFIA, Bulgaria, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The Nabucco West natural gas pipeline enjoys "unequaled legal and regulatory security" given the political support from interested parties, an executive said.

The Bulgarian government hosted policymakers from Nabucco stakeholders ranging from the European Commission to gas-rich Azerbaijan. In Sofia, they confirmed their political, legislative and regulatory support for the planned natural gas pipeline.

Reinhard Mitzschek, chief executive officer of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH, said the declaration solidifies expressions of commitment to the project.

"The ministerial declaration of support affirms that Nabucco West enjoys unequalled legal and regulatory security," he said in a statement.

Nabucco West is a planned 48-inch, 807-mile pipeline that would run through Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. It's up against the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to secure natural gas from the Shah Deniz II project offshore Azerbaijan.

Last week, Mitzschek's group, its shareholders and potential investors agreed to joint funding of the project. The group said it would grant potential investors in the pipeline a 50 percent equity option to participate as shareholders.

Nabucco West is included as part of the Southern Corridor of transit networks meant to add diversity to a European natural gas sector that's dependent on Russia. Mitzschek's group described the pipeline as the "flagship" of the Southern Corridor.

The BP-led consortium working in Shah Deniz II is expected to make its decision on pipeline options by June 30.

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