Kazakhstan signs Russian pipeline law

ASTANA, Kazakhstan, May 14 (UPI) -- In a modest blow to Nabucco, Kazakhstan signed a measure approving the construction of a natural gas pipeline with Russian gas giant Gazprom.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a law granting construction of a 994-mile pipeline to carry domestic and Turkmen gas, the Financial Times reports.


The pipeline will carry 700 billion cubic feet of regional gas each year in a move that solidifies the position of Gazprom in the Central Asian energy sector.

The European Union and regional leaders gathered in Prague, Czech Republic, last week for a conference on the Southern Corridor of energy transit networks, including the long-heralded Nabucco gas pipeline.

Turkmenistan had signed onto agreements with Germany's RWE, a Nabucco partner, in what was seen as a blow to Gazprom following a pipeline disruption earlier this year.

Europe sees Nabucco as the answer to its plans to move away from Russian energy reliance. Nabucco would bring gas from suppliers in the Caspian region and the Middle East along a Turkish route north to European markets.

The leaders emerged from the Prague summit with a declaration of support from key parties to Nabucco, including Azerbaijan. However, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan did not sign the final declaration.


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