BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 5 (UPI) -- A decision on which pipeline would transport natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe is expected by the end of the month, an Azeri energy company director said.
European Union leaders are working to break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector through transit projects outlined in the so-called Southern Gas Corridor.
Most of the Russian natural gas bound for European markets runs through Soviet-era pipelines in Ukraine. Disputes between Russian energy company Gazprom and the Ukrainian government have exposed vulnerabilities in the conventional route.
Rovnag Abdullayev, director of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, said at an energy conference a decision between the Nabucco West and Trans-Adriatic pipelines was expected soon.
"At present, the work is under way to choose a route of transporting Azerbaijani gas to Europe," he was quoted as saying Wednesday by regional news agency Trend. "The final decision will be made at the end of this month."
Both projects are expecting natural gas from the Shah Deniz II project in the Azeri waters of the Caspian Sea.
Reinhard Mitschek, chief executive officer of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH, announced in a separate statement Wednesday potential host Romania declared the pipeline a national interest.