Nabucco backed by intergovernmental ties

April 27, 2012 at 6:54 AM
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VIENNA, April 27 (UPI) -- Doubts expressed by Hungarian energy company MOL over the Nabucco gas pipeline do little to undermine governmental agreements on the project, an official said.

Hungarian energy company MOL said this week there were doubts about the budget for the planned multibillion-dollar natural gas pipeline that would deliver gas to European consumers. Financing the project wasn't sustainable, the company said.

A spokesman for the Nabucco pipeline consortium said MOL's concerns would do little to influence multilateral agreements on the project.

"Nabucco is supported by an intergovernmental agreement that was signed with states in July 2009 and has since been ratified in all five transit countries," the spokesman told the Platts news service.

"This treaty, valid for 50 years, grants transit rights in Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey regardless of the involvement of any shareholder company in the consortium."

Nabucco is part of a plan to ease Russia's grip on the European energy sector. Europe has about one-quarter of its natural gas demands met by Russia, though contractual spats between Moscow and Kiev put conventional transit routes through Ukraine in jeopardy.

Several pipeline projects are vying for natural gas from the Shah Deniz 2 field in Azerbaijan. The Nabucco consortium is said to be considering a smaller project dubbed Nabucco West amid stiff competition.

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