BRUSSELS, March 26 (UPI) -- The Nabucco gas pipeline for Europe will move forward along time line outlined by the project consortium, the European energy commissioner said.
Statements by European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger in the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Nabucco were seen as an indication that the gas pipeline was facing a four-year delay.
He said in the interview that first gas from Nabucco would flow "probably in 2018" rather than the 2014 deadline outlined by the project consortium.
Oettinger clarified his stance, however, in a statement released by his office in Brussels.
"I am sure that the first gas will flow at the end of 2014 and that the pipeline will reach its full capacity in 2018, as envisaged by the Nabucco time line," the statement read.
Reinhard Mitschek, the director of the Nabucco consortium, in statements Thursday stressed that there was "no indication" the project was delayed.
Europe views Nabucco as a way to diversify its regional gas networks, breaking a Russian stranglehold.
Nabucco has a designed capacity of around 1.1 trillion cubic feet of gas per year. Mitschek said a "stepwise" approach was needed to fill the pipeline, meaning full capacity would be met in 2018.