Ex-SOCAR boss sees low Nabucco role

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A former president of a state oil company in Azerbaijan said the number of gas pipelines planned through Turkey could diminish the role of Nabucco.

European consumers are eager to add diversity to a natural gas market that depends heavily on Russia. The Nabucco natural gas pipeline through Turkey is the most ambitious of the non-Russian gas transit projects outlined in Europe's so-called Southern Corridor.


Nabucco would get some of its natural gas from offshore fields in Azerbaijan. Sabit Bagirov, a former president of the State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijan Republic, told the Interfax news agency plans between Russia and Turkey could diminish Nabucco's role.

In December, SOCAR and Turkish pipeline company BOTAS signed a memorandum of understanding to build the $5 billion Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline through Turkey.

"With the implementation of the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline, the necessity to construct the Turkish section of Nabucco will disappear," Bagirov told the news service.

SOCAR holds a majority interest in its consortium with BOTAS, though Baku said others were welcome to join.

Nabucco directors note the project is based on a multisourced concept, which they said expands Europe's natural gas options substantially.


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