Baku supportive of Nabucco

ANKARA, Turkey, July 14 (UPI) -- Azerbaijan sees great potential in the $10.3 billion Nabucco natural gas pipeline for Europe, said Azeri Energy Minister Natig Aliyev.

Delegates from 18 countries met in Ankara on Monday for the signing of an intergovernmental agreement on the Nabucco gas pipeline to Europe.


Nabucco would transit some 2,050 miles to bring about 1.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas each year to European customers from Caspian and Middle Eastern suppliers. The project provides a foundation for European efforts to diversify the regional energy sector, which is dependent on Russia.

The Ankara agreement comes amid a series of high-profile meetings in support of the project. Despite enthusiasm for Nabucco, the pipeline faces financial hurdles and lacks firm commitments from potential gas suppliers.

Natural gas from Azerbaijan is seen as a major source for Nabucco. Russian energy giant Gazprom had secured a deal to purchase Azeri gas, though Aliyev said the prospects for Nabucco were still good, the Trend news service reports.

"I am sure that the project will be realized successfully," Aliyev said.

Nabucco construction is set for 2011 with initial deliveries scheduled for 2014.


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