ROME, March 11 (UPI) -- Europe should unite efforts to secure natural gas by linking the South Stream and Nabucco pipelines, officials at Italian energy giant ENI said.
European leaders should increase investments in infrastructure needed to secure "new sources" of natural gas from locations such as Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Africa, said Paolo Scaroni, the chief executive at Italian energy giant ENI.
Scaroni told delegates at the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston that diversity was the key to the global energy sector of the future.
"In the decade ahead, and probably well beyond that, the world energy scene will be increasingly dominated by the consumption of gas and the supply of gas," he said.
Scaroni said European leaders would benefit from linking rival pipeline projects Nabucco and South Stream, Russia's ITAR-Tass news agency adds.
"If only all partners decided to link the two, we would reduce operating costs and increase efficiency," he said.
A troubled relationship between gas host nation Ukraine and supplier Russia prompted a race to diversify the European energy sector.
The European Commission recently allocated billions of dollars to fund the construction of the Nabucco gas pipeline to move non-Russian gas through Turkey.
Moscow, meanwhile, aims to avoid Ukrainian territory with its South Stream gas pipeline through the Balkans.
ENI is a major partner in the South Stream project along with Russian gas giant Gazprom.