BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 1 (UPI) -- European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said last week's decision on a pipeline for Azeri natural gas is just the beginning for Europe.
A BP-led consortium managing the Shah Deniz natural gas field off Azerbaijan selected the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline over the Nabucco West pipeline as its conduit for deliveries for European consumers. TAP is part of a package of gas transit projects meant to break Russia's grip on the European energy sector.
Oettinger said both projects may be needed in the future to quench a European need for more natural gas.
"What we see today is just the beginning. A decision to have TAP built first and to bring more gas later means that the route to Austria -- currently Nabucco West -- is still on the table," he was quoted as saying Monday by the region's Trend news agency. "The question is not either one or the other -- in the medium term both are needed."
TAP External Affairs Director Michael Hoffmann expressed similar sentiments to UPI in a May interview.
He said European energy market that will start to grow eventually despite the region's weak economy.
"We do not discount other pipelines from being built, which will ensure a win-win for Europe," he said.