BAKU, Azerbaijan, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- The planned Nabucco pipeline for Europe remains a key interest for U.S. concerns about energy security in the region, the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan said.
Azeri agencies this week quoted Richard Morningstar, the U.S. special envoy for Eurasian energy, as saying statements that appeared to sideline Nabucco in favor of smaller pipelines outlined the so-called Southern Corridor.
Of the natural gas pipelines outlined by the European Union in the Southern Corridor, Nabucco is the most ambitious. There's not enough natural gas available from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz 2 natural gas project to fill Nabucco's planned yearly capacity.
The U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan said Morningstar wanted to clarify "inaccurate media accounts" by restating his support for Nabucco.
"Nabucco continues to be a highly desirable political and strategic option," the embassy said in a statement.
Nabucco is up against the smaller Interconnector Turkey-Greece and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline projects.
The embassy said whichever project Baku picks, it must be commercially viable. There is a lot of gas available in Azerbaijan, the embassy added.
"If a smaller pipeline is chosen to ship the first Shah Deniz gas to Europe, we believe it should provide gas to vulnerable countries in Europe and there should be concrete, written guarantees that the pipeline will be expanded as more gas becomes available," it stressed. "We will support any pipeline in the Southern Corridor that meets these conditions."