Sofia, Ankara pull strings for Nabucco

July 12, 2011 at 8:11 AM
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SOFIA, Bulgaria, July 12 (UPI) -- Ankara and Sofia aim to use their regional clout to gain access to natural gas reserves from Caspian states for the proposed Nabucco pipeline, an official said.

The Nabucco project consortium in Vienna aims to get some gas to fill the pipeline with non-Russian suppliers such as Azerbaijan. In May, however, it was announced that construction was delayed by one year to 2013 and gas deliveries weren't expected until 2017 because of supplier timelines.

Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov welcomed Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Sofia to discuss bilateral energy needs.

Both sides have the contacts in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and elsewhere, "which is why Bulgaria and Turkey are key in securing the necessary quantities of natural gas for Nabucco and even a lot more than the 1.1 trillion cubic feet of gas than its currently planned annual capacity," Parvanov was quoted by the Sofia News Agency as saying.

The Bulgarian president added that connecting existing transit networks between the two countries was an important boost to regional energy security.

Sofia in June said it expected that Azerbaijan will start shipping natural gas in some form to the country by 2014. This could come from networks through Georgia, Turkey and Greece as soon as Bulgaria completes gas network interconnections.

Nabucco would extend roughly 2,000 miles through Turkish territory to Austria by crossing Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

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