Europe ties Nabucco deals with Turkey and Arab gas, says Russia not involved
EU officials meeting in Brussels with current and future member states of the Arab Gas Pipeline claim a major victory in facilitating completion of a major supplier of non-Russian natural gas.
Iraq, Egypt, Jordan Lebanon and Syria all pledged gas supplies that would be routed through the AGP to Turkey, and into the Nabucco pipeline to Europe, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports. AGP currently sends Egyptian gas through Jordan to Syria and soon to Lebanon. Work is being done to extend it from Syria to Turkey.
"The Arab Gas Pipeline is set to be finalized by the end of the year, opening important possibilities as a new transport route for gas to the EU, particularly for the Nabucco project," EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said, Hurriyet reports.
Iraq, meanwhile, is in the beginning stages to develop the Akkas gas field along Syria's border, as well as the northern gas sector that would ship directly to Turkey.
EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said Turkey has agreed to become just a transit country, which gives it a fee and a supply of gas for purchase. Europe has feared Turkey would go the Russia-prerogative route, which is to purchase all the natural gas at entry, and then resell it as it leaves the country, allowing it to control prices.
This is one reason Europe is looking to get Nabucco off the ground. It has been a major piece of Europe's puzzle to diversify away from the natural gas it relies on Russia for -- about 25 percent of consumption -- but supplies from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan have not been finalized.
Piebalgs said Gazprom is not a possible partner for Nabucco, despite rumors Russia would have a role.
Iraq-Iran pipeline tender deadline extended to May 18
Iraq's Oil Ministry has extended the deadline for companies to submit plans to design and supply the equipment for pipelines to and from Iran.
The April 24 deadline for bids was moved to May 18, the ministry announced on its Web site Tuesday. The State Company for Oil Projects, a division of the ministry, is inviting international oil companies to offer bids detailing the design and engineering study and supplying of all equipment and materials except the pipelines itself.
The project, which has been in the discussion phase for more than a year, is to ship Iraqi crude to Iran and in a separate line import refined products. Both pipelines would transport via the Shatt al-Arab waterway, the body of water leading the Tigris and Euphrates into the Persian Gulf and delineating the southern Iraq-Iran border.
TransCanada keen on second Keystone line
The Canadian pipeline firm building the first pipeline sending Canadian crude to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast said it has plans for a second, more direct line.
Dubbed "Keystone Phase II," after the first Keystone pipeline, it would start in Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska, South Dakota and south to Port Arthur, Texas, the Argus Leader reports.
Hal Kvisle, president and chief executive officer of TransCanada Corp., said the company is moving forward in talks with oil producers in Alberta and refiners in the United States.
"This would not just be a modest expansion of Keystone," he said, "it would in fact be a larger project than the original Keystone that we're building over the next two summers."
The head of WEB Water in Aberdeen, S.D., however, has already criticized the first pipeline for disregarding landowner rights and potential leaks.
"The second pipeline is going to be an added risk to the state," he said.