BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- A cooperation agreement with stakeholders in a natural gas field in Azerbaijan would enable them to take on shares in the Nabucco pipeline, a spokesman said.
Christian Dolezal, spokesman for Nabucco Gas Pipeline International, said talks between the pipeline group and those in the BP-led consortium working on the Shah Deniz II gas field offshore Azerbaijan were "progressing well."
The Shah Deniz II consortium is expected by next year to make a final decision between the Nabucco West pipeline and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline as the conduit for Azeri natural gas.
Europe is eager to secure natural gas reserves from Caspian suppliers to break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector. Nabucco West is part of a series of transit networks outlined in the Southern Corridor package of gas pipelines for Europe.
Dolezal, in a statement emailed to United Press International, said the pipeline group expects to sign a cooperation agreement with the BP-led consortium by November.
"This cooperation agreement would also enable the SDII partners to take shares in the Nabucco project and is a vital leap forward for realizing the project," his statement read.
Europe gets about 20 percent of its natural gas from Russia, though most of that runs through Ukraine's gas transit system.