Did Washington just kill Nabucco?

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Though Washington still supports the Nabucco natural gas pipeline for Europe, its important Caspian suppliers look at other options, an envoy said in Baku.

Nabucco is up against the Interconnector Turkey-Greece and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline projects. Baku said it would deliver as much as 350 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year from its Shah Deniz 2 project in the Caspian Sea through whichever project it eventually picks.


Richard Morningstar, U.S. special envoy for Eurasian energy, said he has "no doubt" the gas from Shah Deniz 2 would go through one of those projects, outlined in the Southern Corridor of proposed pipelines, but he wasn't sure which one.

He was quoted by the news agency Azerbaijan Business Center as saying it was "important" for the Shah Deniz consortium to pick one of the smaller Southern Corridor projects "in comparison with Nabucco."

The Nabucco pipeline, the most ambitious of the Southern Corridor projects, would carry an estimated 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year, meaning Shah Deniz wouldn't fill the project alone.

European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger had described Nabucco as "expensive" with a $10.9 billion price tag. He said the project was still needed to allay European energy concerns, however.


Morningstar added Washington "offered and continues to offer its support to Nabucco."

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