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RWE faces delay in Turkmen gas deal

RWE faces delay in Turkmen gas deal
RWE cites delays in gas deal with potential Nabucco supplier Turkmenistan. (Map: RWE)

FRANKFURT, Germany, May 5 (UPI) -- German energy company and Nabucco pipeline shareholder RWE said a natural gas supply agreement with Turkmenistan is delayed to the end of the year.

RWE signed a memorandum of understanding with Turkmenistan in 2009. That agreement outlines plans to make Turkmen gas available to the international market through gas transport infrastructure.

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RWE said it expected Turkmenistan to formally sign on to the deal during the first six months of the year. Stefan Judisch, chief executive of RWE Supply & Trading, said the deal is under review in Ashgabat, the Trend news agency in Azerbaijan reports.

"As soon as the political framework has been created, Turkmenistan will be ready to sign a supply contract," he said.

Nabucco is the European answer to energy security and diversity. The $10.5 billion project aims to move gas from potential suppliers in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and possible Middle East suppliers to Europe by 2014.

Supplier nations, however, have been slow to commit formally to the 2,000-mile pipeline. Nabucco Gas Pipeline International, the project consortium, announced in April, however, that it started the prequalification process for items such as pipes and valves needed for pipeline construction.

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Nabucco would stretch from Turkey through Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. Construction is to start it 2011 with first gas flowing by 2014.

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