BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Natural resources in the Caucasus and Central Asia are integral to diversifying the European energy sector, a U.S. Eurasian envoy said.
C. Boyden Gray, the U.S. special envoy for Eurasian energy, spoke in the Azeri capital, Baku, on the need for secure transportation routes to diversify the regional energy market.
Though Gray said the United States supports the development of the Nabucco natural gas pipeline from Turkey to Austria and Eastern Europe, an alternate route bringing Russian resources to Italy, the South Stream pipeline, may develop at a faster pace, the Trend Capital News agency reported Wednesday.
Russian energy giant Gazprom and Italian oil and gas corporation Eni back the $20 billion South Stream line, though its development is hindered by financial and environmental concerns.
The "project of South Stream is very expensive," Gray said.